Michael Lombardi (American football)

Michael Lombardi
Personal information
Born: (1959-06-19) June 19, 1959
Ocean City, New Jersey
Career information
High school: Valley Forge Military Academy
College: Hofstra
Career history
As executive:
Career highlights and awards

Michael Lombardi (born June 19, 1959) is an American football executive and media analyst. Until 2016, he was an assistant to the coaching staff of the New England Patriots and is a former analyst for the NFL Network and sportswriter at NFL.com.[1][2] Lombardi also previously served as an NFL executive with the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, and Oakland Raiders.[3] He currently works for the sports and pop culture blog The Ringer.[4]

Life and career

Early life

Lombardi grew up in Ocean City, New Jersey and played both baseball and football at Valley Forge Military Academy.[5] He attended Hofstra University in from 1977–1981, where he played defensive lineman and long snapper for the football team.[6]

Early career

In 1981, Lombardi was hired as a recruiting coordinator at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas by Rebels' head coach Harvey Hyde.[6]

National Football League

Lombardi began his NFL career in 1984 as an area scout under Bill Walsh of the San Francisco 49ers, where he stayed until 1987.[7]

Lombardi joined the Cleveland Browns organization as Pro Personnel Director in 1987. Later, he became the Browns' Director of Player Personnel and worked under head coach Bill Belichick managing drafts, negotiating contracts and acquiring free agents.[8]

In 1997, Philadelphia Eagles President Joe Banner hired Lombardi as a consultant to assist with the 1997 NFL Draft. Banner then named Lombardi Director of Pro Personnel of the Eagles in 1998.[8]

Later that same year, Al Davis hired Lombardi to serve as Senior Personnel Executive of the Oakland Raiders, a position which he held until 2007.[9] During his tenure with the Raiders, Oakland won three consecutive AFC West titles and advanced to Super Bowl XXXVII.[5]

In October 2012, sportswriter Jason La Canfora reported that the Cleveland Browns were considering Lombardi for their vacancy at General Manager.[10] He was hired for that position five months later.[11] On February 11, 2014, the Browns replaced Lombardi with Ray Farmer.[12]

From 2014–2016, Lombardi worked under Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots as an assistant to the coaching staff.[13][14] Speaking about Lombardi's time in New England, Belichick said, "Mike's...one of the smartest people I've worked with. He was huge asset to me for the two years he was here...he studies football and he knows it very well."[15]

Lombardi has worked as an administrator in the NFL for over 30 years and has worked for Bill Walsh, Al Davis and Bill Belichick.[1] Sports and pop culture essayist Chuck Klosterman described Lombardi as, "a detail freak and a polymath," after spending time with him at the Cleveland Browns facility in the hours leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft.[16] Lombardi has also been described as, "one of the most quiet but influential executives in the NFL." He has been credited as one of the first NFL executives to study the science of scouting players for moral character.[17]


As a broadcaster, Lombardi has worked for ESPN, CBS Sports, Showtime, the NFL Network and Fox Sports.[18] He began his career as a member of the media in 1996 when he spent part of that year as an NFL draft analyst for ESPN. He also spent portions of 1998 and 1999 as an editorial consultant and studio analyst for CBS Sports as on-air talent for the NFL Today pre-game show.[5]

In 2008, Lombardi joined NFL Films' Inside the NFL, a weekly Showtime series where he provided analysis alongside host James Brown and former NFL players Cris Collinsworth, Phil Simms and Warren Sapp.[19] That same year, Lombardi began contributing to several NFL Network shows, including as an in-studio analyst and reporting live from individual games.[20][21]

Lombardi was hired by Fox Sports in September 2016.[22] When he joined Fox, national networks president Jamie Horowitz said in a statement, "Michael is a thought-provoking and insightful football analyst with an impressive résumé. We feel like his blunt approach and original perspective makes the FS1 shows more interesting, and the fans of those shows more informed."[21]

Digital media

In 2010, after working as on-air talent at the NFL Network for two years, Lombardi began writing columns for NFL.com, duties he performed until 2012. Lombardi has also contributed writing to Sports Illustrated and the National Football Post, the latter of which he founded and served as editor-in-chief for three years.[21][23] In January 2017, Lombardi took a position with The Ringer.[24]

In September 2017, Mike Lombardi made headlines by criticizing Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson: "He might be less qualified to coach a team than anyone I’ve ever seen in my 30-plus years in the NFL.".[25] Under Pederson, the Philadelphia Eagles went on to win Super Bowl LII later that season.

Personal life

Lombardi is not related to Green Bay Packers coaching legend Vince Lombardi.[26] He is an avid reader with an interest in Robert Caro's biography of Lyndon B. Johnson.[16][27] He and his wife, Millie, have two sons:[5] Matt, who is a coach for the Baylor Bears; and Mick, who is a coach for the New York Jets.


  1. 1 2 Mike Reiss (19 August 2016). "Michael Lombardi explains his parting of ways with Patriots". ESPN. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  2. Scott Davis (14 January 2017). "Former Patriots assistant floated a rumor that the Browns will try 'hard' to trade for Jimmy Garoppolo". Business Insider. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  3. "Breaking down Eagles-Giants with NFL insider Michael Lombardi". Fox Sports. 15 November 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  4. The Ringer Hires Michael Lombardi As NFL Analyst in Exclusive Deal, January 25, 2017. Accessed February 14, 2017.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "Lombardi named VP of Player Personnel", Cleveland Browns, January 18, 2013. Accessed May 18, 2013. "A native of Ocean City, New Jersey, Lombardi lettered in both football and baseball at Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania."
  6. 1 2 "Michael Lombardi, Fox Sports 1 Sportscaster, at Pasadena Quarterback Rose Bowl Luncheon, Friday". Pasadena Sports Now. 31 October 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  7. Peter King (23 April 1990). "The Genius At Work". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  8. 1 2 Mary Kay Cabot (13 January 2013). "Former Cleveland Browns personnel executive Mike Lombardi hired as Browns Vice President of Player Personnel". Cleveland.com. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  9. Jason Patt (17 December 2012). "Mike Lombardi remains top candidate for potential Browns GM opening, according to report". SB Nation. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  10. Jason La Canfora (28 October 2012). "The NFL Today: Panthers changes could extend to Ron Rivera". CBS Sports. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  11. Mike Florio (5 March 2013). "Browns make Lombardi G.M., Farmer assistant G.M." NBC Sports. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  12. Mark Sessler (11 February 2014). "Joe Banner, Michael Lombardi leaving Browns". NFL.com. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  13. "Patriots make it official with Michael Lombardi", February 20, 2014. Accessed February 24, 2014.
  14. Gregg Rosenthal (18 February 2014). "Michael Lombardi hired by New England Patriots". NFL.com. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  15. Tom E. Curran (2 November 2016). "Belichick: Lombardi 'one of the smartest people I know'". Comcast Sports Network. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  16. 1 2 Chuck Klosterman (10 May 2013). "Black and Brown Blues". Grantland. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  17. Seth Wickersham (10 August 2016). "Man On A Mission". ESPN. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  18. Steve Ramirez (2 November 2016). "NFL analyst Michael Lombardi to speak at Pasadena QBs Club". San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  19. "Report: Pats to Franchise Cassel". NBC Sports. 2 January 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  20. Gregg Rosenthal (29 December 2010). "Lombardi: "The 49ers are going to hire Trent Baalke"". NBC Sports. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  21. 1 2 3 "Former National Football League Front Office Executive Michael Lombardi Joins FOX Sports". Fox Sports. 12 September 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  22. "Big Names: Sage Steele, Michael Lombardi, Darren Pang". Sports Media Watch. 12 September 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  23. Ian Casselberry (25 January 2017). "NFL analyst Michael Lombardi signs exclusive deal with The Ringer". Awful Announcing. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  24. Neil Greenberg (2 February 2017). "Here is the perfect Super Bowl LI game plan for the New England Patriots". Washington Post. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  25. Brandon Lee Gowton (3 September 2017). "Former NFL GM says Doug Pederson "might be less qualified to coach a team than anyone I've ever seen"". SB Nation. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  26. Cleveland Browns: Could Michael Lombardi Become The New GM?, www.rantsports.com, 11-7-12, accessed 1-18-13
  27. Thomas Leary (18 November 2016). "Weekend Plans With Fox Sports' Michael Lombardi: Diving Into The Next Chapter". Sports Business Daily. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
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