The release of the Ted Wells report on Friday morning bumped most other news items down the stack. Here’s one I was getting ready to cobble together before the Wells report emerged.
Amid multiple reports that former Browns G.M. Michael Lombardi will join the Patriots, PFT learned as of Friday morning that it’s not a done deal.
And while it remains expected to become a done deal, the fact that news of the impending hire emerged in the media could be an impediment, given the extent to which Pats coach Bill Belichick despises the leakage of information to the media. On multiple occasions in the past, Belichick and company have insisted on secrecy from players and agents who were in the process of being acquired or evaluated. On multiple occasions, interest has come with a caveat — if word of the interest leaks, the interest will evaporate.
If/when the arrangement becomes official, Lombardi won’t be replacing or supplanting director of player personnel Nick Cesario. The sense we’ve gotten is that Lombardi would be more of a special assistant to Belichick, who has had a close relationship with Lombardi for years.
Some have asked why Belichick didn’t previously hire Lombardi, given that he had been working in the media for several years but not offered a job by Belichick. Regardless of the reason(s) why it didn’t happen before, hiring Lombardi at a time when he’s been spent a year immersed in the study of current and incoming NFL personnel makes him far more valuable than if he’d remained in the media, which necessarily entails a less thorough analysis and evaluation of players.
Basically, Lombardi will be carrying to a new team the product of a year spent preparing for 2014 free agency and the 2014 draft.