Mike Lombardi becomes the Browns’ V.P. of player personnel

Mike Lombardi, the former NFL personnel man turned NFL Network analyst who has long been rumored as a candidate to become the Browns’ next general manager, is indeed heading to Cleveland to become the Browns’ new general manager.

Lombardi’s title in Cleveland will be V.P. of player personnel, ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported and the Browns have now officially announced.

Browns CEO Joe Banner said this week that there was a frontrunner for the team’s G.M. job, but he wouldn’t say who it was. Apparently it was Lombardi, who now takes over the personnel department for a franchise that has made the playoffs just once since returning to Cleveland in 1999.

107 responses to “Mike Lombardi becomes the Browns’ V.P. of player personnel

  1. Memo to Browns new owner: When you tell fans it’s your goal to bring a Lombardi to Cleveland, this isn’t what they were expecting.

  2. i’ve put up with a lot of crap with this team since they came back, but the hiring of this worthless piece is too much. i’m done with this team. im washing my hands of them and burning my gear


  3. How can Jimmy Haslem buy this team for a billion dollars and then basically hand his team over to some accounting dork in Joe Banner? Banner hires a puppet as a head coach and then his buddy to be the gm?

  4. Dear Jimmy Haslam–

    According to Joe Banner you wanted the best guy in the NFL—well you struck out again today.

    PS: The rest of the NFL North is thanking you this morning.

  5. NFL Network is quickly losing all of their information guys…first Schefter, LaCanfora, now Lombardi. Wyche, Breer, and Rappoport are huge steps down from the guys i mentioned previously.

  6. as an analyst i’m a Lombardi fan. but he’s done this before with very limited success. I’ve got to give him credit for having the fortitude to try it again. it will be tough under Banner.

  7. This guy is a total idiot….very shaky moves by the Browns…I see them continuing to stink it up and only ever getting to VERY average…(7-9) (8-8) under this leadership team.
    Banner is a world class jerk come contract time as well.

  8. You gotta be kidding me. The interviewed all those top-flight candidates and my Browns make the worst possible hire. This is coyote ugly.

  9. well well well. This is definitely a different direction. Just put the browns back a few years.Cleveland Rocks.

  10. I’m just glad this jackwagon will finally be off my TV.

    It does amaze me though that even Cleveland would hire a guy who was fired from volunteering with the Broncos a few years ago.

  11. I’m disappointed as a Browns fan. We have heard about this for months, and for it to be coming to fruition now just begs for a facepalm.

    As an analyst on TV I like the guy and he seems knowledgible. But that is on TV with monopoly money. I don’t like this guy playing with REAL money, more particularly my team’s money and the Cleveland media from Tony Grossi on down has frowned on this widely expected move, and will continue unless it brings some sory of unexpected success which is unlikely.

    The Factory of Sadness seems destined to continue. I am glad that I have Sunday Ticket and am not one of those unlucky fools who throw their money away on season tickets or any tickets, because if I was I would be ticked off.

  12. Not sure what GM worth anything will want to come in and work with this set up.

    Should have just kept Heckert. He was building this team in the right direction as far as young talent goes.

  13. So far, Haslan’s track record includes selling naming rights to the stadium, changing the uniforms (eventually the helmet,mark my words), wanting to dome the stadium, and now this fool, all to the ire of the fanbase who worked so hard to keep this team. Oh, and got rid of a guy who has had three great drafts in a row, and a head coach who made big strides in year two.

    How does a guy who works in retail not understand how to read his customers?

    What is the good move this team has made since he bought them? Chud is a wait and see, not a guarantee either way, but what, exactly, was the good idea or action he’s taken?

  14. 1987 to 1996 – Cleveland Browns: Joined team as Pro Personnel Director in 1987. Promoted to Director of Player Personnel in 1992 where he worked under head coach Bill Belichick and was responsible for all college and pro personnel decisions; managed salary cap and player personnel issues; oversaw staff of 13 college and pro scouts; handled all player contracts and advised head coach on all football matters.

    He was part of the Browns the last time they were relevant. Let’s wait and see how this turns out. Just speaking as a fan of another team.

  15. Just about everyone of the above comments are stupid. Not one of you people know anything about football or how to run a personnel department. Despite what you think, Lonmabdi is highly tought of in the league.

  16. Any excitement us Browns fans had with the new coaching staff has faded very quickly. I’m not excited about this hire, at all. Heckert is missed even more today.

    Go brow….nevermind.

  17. Wonder how long until the Browns new owner realizes that putting Joe Banner in charge was a huge mistake. He is a hated man with a bad reputation. Agents hate him, players hate him, coaches hate him, and other executives hate him. Mike Lombardi? Are you kidding me?

  18. This is a great day for the rest of AFC North! The lowly Browns don’t know any better.

  19. What a complete joke. I have tolerated the losing for so many years by virtue of where I was born. This is just such a terrible, decision—everyone but Haslam can see it.

    I am done with these clowns for now. Totally done.

  20. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    I feel really bad for Browns fans, they definitely don’t deserve this, not at all.

  21. Bill Simmons will now be hired as the VP of Common Sense and the 2013 Madden champion will be brought on to handle clock management in the last 2 minutes of each half. Cleveland Rocks!

  22. Am I the only one that finds it funny that Lombardi worked for NFL Network, yet an ESPN guy broke the story first lol

  23. Relax, Cleveland fans, Lombardi has untold advantages from watching hundreds of games over the years, scrutinizing thousands of hours of game tape, and has access to insider information from contacts around the league and…wait, no that was Matt Millen. Never mind.

  24. I myself will hold off on making opinions on the Brown’s moves this off season. One never knows how a the complete package will Gel. Doing it in pieces certainly has not helped the Browns in the past. It certainly will be a tough task to actually screw the pooch any worse than the Brown’s have done in the recent past…

  25. Wow. Just an embarrassment and an insult to anyone who has ever worked in scouting and personnel. The city of Cleveland is so passionate about the Browns, and THIS is what they get. Stick to gas stations Haslem, it’s becoming clearly obvious that you don’t know squat about football already.

  26. What in the world is going on in Berea? I have a bad feeling about this one. Correct me if I am wrong but Lombardi stated that Joe Thomas would not make it, Joe Haden was no good, and Trent Richardson was too slow. Man, this guy is a great judge of talent. It seems as if the Browns want to be the laughing stock of the NFL.

  27. After the inspiring success of Matt Millen I can’t understand why more TV talking heads aren’t snapped up for high level positions based on their ability to talk.
    Kudos Mr. Haslem, I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who thinks front office talent searches should consist entirely of turning on a TV.

  28. trollhammer20 says: Jan 18, 2013 9:13 AM

    Memo to Browns new owner: When you tell fans it’s your goal to bring a Lombardi to Cleveland, this isn’t what they were expecting.
    Well done! One of the best lines I’ve read on this site.

  29. I don’t understand the need to always make a smart ass remark with everything the browns do. Very classless!

  30. Picking TRich with the 4th overall pick IS a mistake.!

    RB’s are a dime a dozen. He was already hurt twice this past season.

    Lombardi was right. !

  31. as a life long bengals fan i totally feel ur guys pain..the cleveland browns fans are truly some of the best fans in the NFL..die hard and loyal..i actually root for u guys unless u play the bengals..u deserve better..but good luck next season..signed Mr Cincinnati

  32. Love it or hate it, Browns fans, I suggest you buckle in and get comfortable with this regime. The one thing you CANNOT keep doing is hitting the reset button every 2 years. It’s time to saddle in with one CEO, one GM, one coach, and one QB and give them more than 2 seasons to succeed. I know it is a “win now” mentality nowadays, but every time this franchise gets some momentum they then decide it’s time to hit the reset button and rebuild.

  33. I lived in Houston from ’78-’95. I stayed true to the Browns during that time. Now I may have to become a Texan fan. V.P. of player personnel. Or yes man to Banner. Whatever momentum Mr. Haslam had is gone. I think they want the most entertaining team in the NFL, just not on the football field. This is turning into Barnum and Bailey. They want to put a roof on the stadium. Yes, a big top.

  34. Dolphins Nation says:Jan 18, 2013 10:45 AM

    And you all wonder why Lebron left Cleveland.

    Lebron plays basketball. Not football. The two are unrelated.

    Typical “knowledgeable” Miami fan.

  35. Didn’t Haslam learn anything by being part-owner of the Steelers and seeing the Ravens operations up-close? Didn’t he learn that you don’t have a business man run your football operations and then this guy hire a failed personnel exec to run personnel? But I’m beginning to believe that Haslam doesn’t really care all that much about winning. If he did, he would have hired a strong football guy to run the Browns football operations. Someone like Polian or someone of comparable experience and stature. It would have been his first hire. Instead, he hires a business man who is well known to be motivated to consolidate his power and is well known to be reviled by football people.

    Can you say 2-14 within 2 years?

    Maybe it is time to truly join the dark side and follow the Ravens. At least Ozzie knows how to run a football operations.

  36. Count me in the minority of those who think this will work out well.

    As an analyst, Lombardi has missed on many of his player assessments – but every GM has, and many have done far worse than he.

    It’ll be 3-4 years before you can really assess him as GM. Like every GM he’ll have his share of hits and misses.

    Hopefully the Browns will now have a period of stability they’ve lacked since returning to Cleveland.

  37. Now all the AFCN needs is for them to hire a 3-4 DC (they’ve already helped us by firing Jauron) and screw up the good defense they had finally built. Then we can all sit back and focus once again on the big three and not worry about much improvement from the Browns. Norv was a good hire however, but this isn’t the West. It’s the North, and we have the D to handle him.

  38. Time to look for another team to follow. As a life long fan of the Browns this has to be the worst executive decision they have ever made besides Joe Banner. Neither know one thing about football: one used to sell clothes and was a failure and the other worked in TV for the past five years. It’s about as bad as a peanut farmer becoming a President and failing. Good Luck Haslam. Go back to selling gas and junk. You’re creating junk here in NE Ohio. We’re looking for a Pro football team that can win. The guys you are hiring are losers.

  39. Looks like Bill Simmons and Future Star QB Brian Hoyer are on their way to Cleveland.

    Cousin Sal as well!

  40. Lombardi proves the old adage “It’s not what you know–It’s who you know”. This guy has failed, and failed miserably at every NFL personnel job he has had–including his first one with Cleveland. I would have preferred Jimmy Haslem promote the night manager at my local Flying J Truck Stop as the VP of Player Personel—I’d at least be more comfortable that he would know something about football.

  41. 52 year Browns fan here; I am sick! And I will jump on board with everyone else here. I really thought–I mean, I REALLY thought Jimmy Haslam got it. Damn, it’s hard being a Browns fan. This is truly sickening. This team is gonna go nowhere fast, and we will continue to be the laughing stock of the NFL

  42. DOINK, things went south with the BANNER hire….now we’re heading for another decade of sub-mediocraty…. How do you hire and pay folks millions of dollars that have poor track records and expect something good to happen… DOINK…

  43. Well according to the internet fans this is a bad hire, so I expect him to succeed.

    Now get Ray Horton as DC and the beginning of a beautiful season can begin!

  44. You’ve got to be kidding me! You left Heckert go for Lombardi? I was elated with the Turner hiring, and then you do this! Talk about one step forward and two steps back!

  45. Looking forward to our drafts now. Welcome back picks like rahim abdulah, spergon wynn, quincy morgan, jeramiah farmer, willie green, and so.many more busts and wasted picks. Im glad we have a rookie owner, narsasistic president and incompatent gm. Heres to the future of the cleveland browns.

  46. Remember when fans of the Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks actually wanted Bill Simmons to become their GM?

    What you’ll see in Cleveland the next few years is what would have happened there.

    A complete disaster.

  47. All of the AFC thanks you for not being in the playoff picture for at least the next 5-6 years as these moves have set you back AT LEAST that far. I am a Dolphins fan and I now know without a doubt in my mind that we have one less team to worry about as we begin to build a contending team. The Fins have been pathetic but thank god for teams like the Browns, Jags and Bills who continue to “somewhat” hide our misery.

  48. well there goes my thoughts of buying season tickets….Haslem you are 0-3 so far since you bought the team.Im not sure who is in your ear but you better get him out becasue you are already on a slippery slope after 3 disastrous decisions ,which happen to be your first 3 and your first impression on us fans…..if you want to create ANY excitement you better kill it in the draft and free agency

  49. Does anybody else get the feeling Haslam is trying to pull a “Major League”? It really seems to me, he is trying to alienate the fan base to the point that he can petition the league to let him move the team to L.A. I cant for the life of me think of any other explanation……………….

  50. o.k. people don’t burn your tickets yet. let’s see what they do in F.A. and the draft and then start crucifying this regime, if need be.i think they’re going to spend most of the 48 mil. and should be able to bolster the lb’s,dbs, and o-line. i’m worried about the qb, if norv and chud go after a veteran to come in. or maybe trade down to pick up more picks since they don’t a 2nd rounder. we’ve waited this long time a few more months won’t kill us. plus its fun to speculate and play gm yourself.

  51. I say trust Haslam one this one. He isn’t one of those rich owners who likes to own a NFL team like a trophy. He is passionate about football and has seen first hand in Pitt how stability makes a difference. He got a coach who grew up a Browns fan and has some good experience and Lomardi whether you believe it or not is a good pick. He has done it before and has made some good contacts while working for NFLN. The Browns will be fine.

  52. Say what?!?!?!?

    Man the Browns have to be a kamikaze orginization. Just when I thought they were having a good off season and about to emerge. They put a self destruct mechanism like Mike Lombardi at one of the head seats of personnel.

    If Lombardi was any good his friend Belichick would have hired him. His work with the Raiders was horrible. His work with the Browns his first stint was horrible.

    I don’t get it. Lombardi – the man who ran the Raiders into the ground gets work. Hue Jackson – the man who stopped the Raiders losing ways can not find work that he’s qualified for. Amazing.

  53. Ah, the joy of being a Browns fan. Like starting up each morning with a fresh kick in the balls.

    The Law of Averages was apparently repealed in Northeast Ohio.

  54. I again don’t know if Banner or Lombardi are worth anything.. Banner strikes me as a control freak and Lombardi past don’t impress me at all… I hope I am wrong for the Browns sake and every Browns fan including myself !

  55. Lombardi is the fallout guy for Banner. If things don’t go as planned in the next two years Lombardi will be fired to avoid the perpetual 2 and out coaching shuffle the Browns are known for. Banner and Chud will have the majority ruling on player personnel.

  56. Haslam you’re a frickin idiot, you don’t have a clue, you just pushed any hope of success back another 6 years, 3 years till you figure out you screwed this one up and another 3 years to get back, this depends on if you hire the right people in 3 years after these knuckleheads, Banner, Lombardi go bye bye, cause you know Chud will be the first to blame and get fired, the people on this blog are the true fans of the Browns, so Jimmy mark our words, because in 3 years your gonna eat them, Lombardi has a proven track record of an idiot and you Jimmy are generating your own track record of a schmuck that doesn’t understand how to make a team, you hand the keys to the kingdom to an accountant, you don’t even second guess his stupidity, JUST BECAUSE YOU BOUGHT THE TEAM DOESN’T MEAN EVERYONE HAS TO GO, you should of kept Heck.

  57. I called this one weeks ago. The Browns were NEVER looking for a GM. Lombardi is the fall guy. He took the blame for Bellichick’s awful personel picks as a rookie coach and all of Al Davis’s among other people. Say it with me Browns fans, your GM’s name is JOE BANNER. Lombardi is just the Vice President of giving him coffee and taking the heat whenever a draft pick is blown. At least that’s how the Baltimore Ravens explain the job of “Vice President of Player Personel”.

  58. Hey browns fans, looking for a new team with upside, the team with the nfls best winning percentage, a team with the fewest losing seasons of any team in the nfl, sick of being a yearly bottom dweller? Become a fan of one of the biggest worldwide fan based teams How about switching to the Miami Dolphins? With over 46 million dollars to spend, 9 draft picks including 5 in the first three rounds, a young promising roster with a great defense, this team is on its way back to reclaim its dominance of the afc east. With a couple offseason offensive added pieces a tweek of the secondary this team is gonna be a major playoff contender. Just something to think about.

  59. Wow, I feel about the same way as I did when they hired Mangini: totally defeated. Even with new ownership, the face-palm decisions never end. If this GM post is just a puppet position reporting to Banner, why not go with a fresh face that would bring some enthusiasm to the fan base??? Hiring Mike Lombardi is as bad a PR move. What next, an Art Modell statue in front of the stadium?

  60. Can anybody even remember the name of that kid they drafted to play center in Cleveland? He was an art major from USC. Wasn’t that another Lombardi gem?

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