With New Year’s Eve 2013 falling on the day after the end of the NFL regular season, today could be considered the eve of destruction, as about as many as a dozen teams are expected to potentially dismiss their current head coaches and/or general managers and other staff.
One of those teams linked to such speculation is the Cleveland Browns, who have not finished with a winning record since 2007 (and even that year, they missed the playoffs).
There are rumblings that new Browns owner Joe Banner will relieve head coach Pat Shurmur of his duties, and eventually reorganize the front office – with the name of Michael Lombardi surfacing, due to his past connection with Banner when both were working with the Philadelphia Eagles. And, of course, Lombardi himself had worked behind the scenes for the Browns from 1987 to 1996.
So when Lombardi was brought on Saturday night’s edition of “NFL Total Access” by telephone, he was given the opportunity to say – well, basically, the same thing he’s been saying ever since he’s been named the de facto GM by NFL bloggers.
After discussing the future of Shurmur under new team ownership, NFL Network’s Scott Hanson told viewers he was “doing my due diligence” in asking Lombardi the inevitable question about him possibly joining the Browns as their new general manager.
After razzing Hanson about his infatuation with the sweaters that he donned the last time he was working for the league in a management capacity, Lombardi said: “Look… Decisions haven’t been finalized, in terms of the front office. Once they do that, I look for the Browns to go get a coach first, and then make their decisions about a front office, and I haven’t been contacted, and that’s what I’ve maintained all along.”
And there’s a good reason as to why nobody from the Browns organization, or any team, for that matter, hasn’t reached out to Lombardi.
“Ultimately… you don’t get contacted until jobs have officially opened up, and they haven’t opened up yet.”
Word on the street is that the franchise will indeed be creating job vacancies on the day referred to by the mainstream football media as “Black Monday.”
And that means there’s a very good possibility that Lombardi might be contacted by the Browns, one of five teams he’s been employed by. Since leaving the Raiders in 2007, Lombardi started making regular appearances on NFL Network, and has been an NFL.com columnist since 2010 (this after working for a couple of years at the NationalFootballPost.com website he founded in 2008).
In addition to being an “insider” for NFL Network, he also just completed his first season co-hosting NFLN’s new Sunday early morning “First On The Field” program, alongside Melissa Stark, Sterling Sharpe and LaDainian Tomlinson.
But if the Cleveland Browns have their way, Michael Lombardi will be off the air – and on the clock.