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Browns

Lombardi Denies Rumors Linking Him To Browns

By DARYL RUITER, 92.3 The Fan Browns Beat Reporter
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(Photo by John Reid, courtesy Cleveland Browns/NFL)

(Photo by John Reid, courtesy Cleveland Browns/NFL)

DarylRuiter_300 Daryl Ruiter
Cleveland Browns beat writer and member of the Pro Football Writers of...
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CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Since the sale of the Cleveland Browns to Jimmy Haslam was announced, rumors concerning the overhaul of the organization have been rampant.

One name that has continued to surface in relation to the Browns is Michael Lombardi.

Lombardi, who was the pro personnel director in Cleveland from 1987-1995, is currently an “NFL Insider” for NFL Network.

Over the weekend CBS Sports’ NFL insider Jason LaCanfora reported that Lombadri could be a candidate for the Browns.

Lombardi joined Baskin and Phelps Tuesday on 92.3 The Fan and said rumors of him joining the Browns at this point are speculation.

“I know nothing about it,” Lombardi said. “I appreciate Jason mentioning my name but I don’t understand where it’s coming from.”

RELATED – Audio: NFL Insider Michael Lombardi with Baskin & Phelps on 92.3 The Fan.

Mike Holmgren, as expected, has stepped aside as team president and will leave the organization at seasons end – if not sooner – with former Eagles president Joe Banner tasking over as CEO.

General manager Tom Heckert and coach Pat Shurmur are not expected to remain with the team beyond 2012 even though Haslam has said publicly they would be evaluated at the end of the year.

“A lot of it would be predicated on situations,” Lombardi said. “Right now the Cleveland Browns are coming off a win, still have their general manager in place. There’s been no indications from what I’ve read or seen from Jimmy Haslam or what Joe Banner said that they’re going to make any changes.

“It’s purely speculative.”

While Lombardi effectively denied contact with or interest from the Browns, he didn’t rule out an interest in returning to the front office.

“I enjoy what I’m doing,” Lombardi said. I miss the game in terms of being on a day-to-day basis within a team and if the right situation were to come up for me, certainly I would be interested in talking to them.

“I don’t know if I would do it but I’d be interested in talking to them.”

So what situation could lure him from the media ranks?

“A lot of it would be predicated on people that I know and like and respect working for them,” Lombardi said. “And understanding what the plan is. Where are we headed, the direction and how do I fit.”

As far as the rumor mill, Lombardi said that he tries to avoid the rumors and speculation.

“I don’t react to it,” Lombardi said. “I think ultimately that people are always looking for names. I’m not sure that they are the names that always end up getting the jobs but there’s no sense in me chasing the story. There’s no story to be had because obviously I would know.”

After leaving the Browns, Lombardi’s next official job came in 1998 as the Eagles’ pro personnel director (after serving as a consultant to owner Jeffrey Lurie in 1997) before moving on to Oakland in 1999.

He was fired in 2007 and began his media career after.

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