Bill Belichick's undying hate knows no limits. The Cleveland Browns franchise has wronged him and he will forever torment their souls to oblivion.
Yes, Belichick is known for destroying those franchises which have wronged him. And when he gets bored, he sends his confederates to take down his divisional foes. Whether its former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum, who used to work with Belichick in Cleveland, who destroyed the Jets franchise, or its Nick Caserio adding pain to the Dolphins off-season, Belichick has an evil and twisted plan for the league.
And no plan is more evil or more twisted than what he has out for the Browns.
He's given the franchise Romeo Crennel. He's given them Eric Mangini. He's dangled Bill O'Brien in front of them, only to pull him away (and O'Brien received a nice raise from Penn State in the process). O'Brien returned for another interview this year, before ultimately taking the Texans jobs, adding to the toxicity of the Cleveland position.
This season, Belichick's vengeance has reached new heights. The Browns injured tight end Rob Gronkowski, effectively ending the Patriots championship hopes. Belichick set out to rain fire upon the Browns franchise.
Belichick tried to push Greg Schiano on them, after Schiano had been fired by the Buccaneers, which led to a rift between the Browns' owner Jimmy Haslam and the team's CEO Joe Banner. Turmoil and a quick exit for Banner.
Josh McDaniels, former agent of destruction in Denver, was put back into the field to harm Cleveland, putting himself as a frontrunner in the coaching process, before recalling his application. It turns out, that's just part of the story.
Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com is reporting that McDaniels withdrew because the Browns claimed he wasn't the front runner. After claims that the coaching position was "radioactive" surfaced, McDaniels apparently called the Browns to put his name back into the ring. The damage was done. Coaches no longer wanted the Browns position. Even their kids didn't want it. McDaniels put his name back in contention purely to disrupt the team's selection process.
Belichick was in full command of the Browns franchise, running a puppet show of candidates to string them along until all the high demand coaching candidates had been claimed. He even used a Jedi mind trick to turn Peyton Manning into Evil Manning [(C) Bill Simmons] and use Peyton's powers to further disrupt the Browns. Peyton called the Browns owner and told him that no one would do business with the Browns with their current front office. Re-read that. And read it again. Let the hate flow through you.
And this brings us to today's news. Former Browns GM Mike Lombardi is heading to the Patriots. The man who actually did a pretty good job setting up the Browns for the near future, by acquiring valuable draft picks and freeing up necessary cap space, is now joining the Patriots. He's defected.
Or he was an agent for the Patriots the entire time. His draft picks weren't too fruitful in the one season they had to prove themselves. The players who broke out (Josh Gordon, Alex Mack, Jordan Cameron, Joe Haden) were either in a franchise season, or about to enter their final contract year. The team has cap space, but they may not be in a position to hold on to their talent. The players might not want to stay in such a dysfunctional atmosphere. They might opt out of Cleveland.
And that would be the perfect play. Belichick's man primes the franchise for the future, only to see their future decide to leave the team. Nothing would be more painful to the Cleveland franchise than the unsatisfying thud of a fruitless off-season.
Lombardi now comes to the Patriots, pockets full of information about the enemy. He built them up. He's come to the right team to tear them down.
Belichick is up to his evil ways and the franchise that wronged him will never see happiness until he rides across the River Styx.
Wait, what do you mean that franchise is actually now in Baltimore? Crap, let's make a quick rewrite so this can force itself into the cannon of Hoodie Wars.