October 30, 2014

Medina
Mostly cloudy
47°F

Browns hire Michael Lombardi as VP of player personnel

The rumors and reports were true.

Michael Lombardi was hired this morning as vice president of player personnel. He will run the Browns’ personnel department and be charged with acquiring talent for first-time coach Rob Chudzinski.

The introductory news conference is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at Browns headquarters.

Lombardi had been rumored for the job since Joe Banner was hired as CEO in October by new owner Jimmy Haslam. Banner repeatedly refused to confirm the reports and said last week Lombardi hadn’t directed the coaching search.

Banner and Lombardi worked together with the Eagles in 1997-98 and remained close. SiriusXM Radio’s Adam Caplan reported Lombardi has been advising Banner for months.

Lombardi has 22 years of NFL experience, including working for the Browns from 1987-1994. He began as a scout, was named pro personnel director in 1989 and was promoted to director of player personnel in 1993.

His latest stop was with the Raiders from 1999-2007. Since 2008, he has worked primarily as an analyst with NFL Network and NFL.com.

Banner said Tuesday the No. 1 skill he was looking for in the head of the personnel department was the ability to scout.

“We want our player personnel department to be the best evaluators/graders of players both in the league and coming into the league in the league,” Banner said. “That’s the goal. So somebody who can do that well and lead and train a staff of scouts to do that well, that’s the primary criteria.”

Lombardi has been associated with teams that have advanced to the playoffs 10 times, won seven division titles and earned two trips to the Super Bowl. The 1984 49ers won the title in his first NFL season in the personnel department.

Check back for updates on this story as they become available.

Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or spetrak@chroniclet.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.