When the Cleveland Browns detonated their team for the upteenth time in February of 2014, a key figure in the New England Patriots Super Bowl XLIX championship team became a free agent.
I’m not talking about any player. I’m talking about Michael Lombardi.
Lombardi is “moving on” from his position as assistant to the Patriots staff after two seasons, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, but that doesn’t mean that the fruitful relationship will be over. It just means it will be different. Reiss hypothesizes that the former Browns general manager could be interested in joining Bill Simmons’ newest venture The Ringer.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Lombardi go way back with Lombardi rising through Belichick’s staff while the two were in Cleveland. So when Lombardi was fired by the Browns in his second go-round, Belichick felt comfortable bringing him and his scouting research on board just hours later.
Lombardi is responsible for bringing in key talent like former Browns edge defender Jabaal Sheard and running back Dion Lewis. He has a good eye for underutilized talent.
But I’m not worried about any potential loss in the Patriots front office because I wouldn’t be surprised if Lombardi continued to help out his old friend Belichick, just like he did prior to joining the Browns.
Lombardi served as an under-the-table sort of scout for the Patriots from 2010-12 and those drafts were responsible for bringing home the Lombardi trophy after the 2014 season. Lombardi helped out in the draft classes that brought in Devin McCourty, Rob Gronkowski, Nate Solder, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley, Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower. I would expect him to help out Belichick in a similar fashion moving forward.
I’m also super excited about the idea of Lombardi joining a media outlet after his tenure in New England because I want to see someone pull back the curtains a little bit, and I would think Bill Simmons could help steer that stage direction.
Best of luck to Lombardi in his next ventures, and thanks for 2014.