clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Former Browns GM says one move made Cleveland a contender in the AFC North

Mike Lombardi’s track record is far from spotless

Cleveland Browns Family Night Practice 8-3-2013 Photo by David Dermer/Diamond Images/Getty IMages

For the Cleveland Browns, the last twenty-plus years have been so full of change over that “former Browns (anything)” could mean hundreds of different people. For example, earlier this week we shared about a former Browns first-round pick that was tearing it up in the USFL and, Friday, a former Browns receiver who was up for that league’s Sportsman of the Year Award.

Today we get to talk about a former Cleveland Browns GM, Mike Lombardi. Lombardi was hired as the Browns head front office guy in 2013 and let go the following year. Somehow that was less than a decade ago but feels closer to 20 years ago.

Since then, Lombardi was hired, worked for two seasons and was not re-signed by the New England Patriots. During his time with the Pats, he was seen on camera with Cleveland-branded materials while working for New England.

Officially, that was Lombardi’s last job in the league. He has worked in the media in different ways since.

Speaking on the AFC North, Lombardi thinks the hiring of DC Jim Schwartz, not the player moves specifically, makes the Browns a sleeper in the division:

Given how poorly Cleveland’s defense played last year under then-DC Joe Woods and how close some of their losses were, Lombardi could be right. Previously, we saw that Schwartz was credited as a part of adding four wins for the team in a projection.

As usual with the NFL, credit and blame for winning and losing falls both on the coaches and the players. Schwartz might be a great coach but the additions of Za’Darius Smith (noted by Lombardi), Dalvin Tomlinson, Juan Thornhill, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and others will also play a huge role.

Join our community in the comment section below: Which offseason move do you think will have the biggest, positive impact on the Browns this season?