David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
The Cleveland Browns have announced the hire of Mike Lombardi as the team's vice president of player personnel.
ESPN's Adam Schefter broke the news on Twitter this morning, first tweeting that Lombardi's position with the Browns was general manager before quickly making the correction.
Update: Michael Lombardi's title in Cleveland will be VP player personnel.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 18, 2013
Lombardi's name was floated around as a possibility with Browns not long after Joe Banner has hired as CEO. Lombardi worked with Banner in Philadelphia as director of player personnel. Though, the rumors didn't reach their pinnacle until around early-to-mid December.
Since that time, the Lombardi talk appeared to subside as the Browns were well into their search for a head coach and the eventual hire of Rob Chudzinksi.
Tony Grossi, Browns beat writer for ESPN Cleveland, stuck with it, reporting Lombardi as a candidate throughout this entire time as well as the influence Lombardi may have had on the coaching search long before today's hire.
As many older Browns fans know, Lombardi also has a history with the Browns. He worked under Bill Belichick as director of player personnel from 1992 to 1995, when the team once picked a fullback in the first round. In the 1992 NFL Draft, the Browns selected "Touchdown" Tommy Vardell at No. 9 overall.
If you're looking for more of Lombardi's draft history, check out his draft record on TheClevelandFan.com.
Lombardi hasn't been with an NFL team since parting ways with the Oakland Raiders after 2007. He's since worked as an analyst on the NFL Network. In July Lombardi criticized former Browns GM Tom Heckert for taking sensational rookie WR Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft with the 2013 second rounder, calling it a "wasted" pick.
Here was Josh Gordon's reaction to today's hire:
"@adamschefter: Browns hired Michael Lombardi as GM." Uh oh.. Am I in trouble??— Josh Gordon (@JOSH_GORDONXII) January 18, 2013
The press conference to introduce Lombardi is set to begin around 11:30 a.m. this morning. Feel free to use this as an open thread for that press conference.