According to ESPN.com, the Cleveland Browns have hired TV analyst Michael Lombardi as vice president of player personnel. Lombardi has worked in the offices of the 49ers, Eagles, and Broncos.
The Browns have been on the hunt for new general manager and player personnel since new owner Jimmy Haslam fired former general manager, Tom Heckert. Lombardi’s history with the team goes back to when he worked with the Browns during Bill Belichicks’ term as head coach during 1991-1995. Mike Lombardi has 22 years experience of pro office experience, including working with the Browns and the Raiders.
Brown’s CEO Joe Banner have been receiving some resistance on his decision to hire Lombardi. “Listen, I understand that I’m going out on the limb myself by hiring Mike,” said Banner. “So I didn’t do this casually. Iv’e spent a lot of time talking to him about everything that matters before I put him in front of Jimmy Haslam or Chud. Time will tell if it’s right or wrong, but I made it confidently and with my eyes open about the perceptions, about the realities, about my own time I spent with him. I feel comfortable about this.”
The Browns hired Rob Chudzinski as head coach on January 11, and hired Norv Turner as offensive coordinator on Thursday. Mike Lombardi’s title will be VP player personnel.