Jan 11, 2013; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski (center) walks off the stage after his introductory press conference with owner Jimmy Haslam III (right) and chief executive officer Joe Banner at the team

Cleveland Browns: GM Mike Lombardi’s Limited Role

Mike Lombardi

Joe Banner just finished a spot on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning. During the spot Banner talked about the trade of Trent Richardson, all but confirmed they made the trade to draft a QB and made some interesting comments that relate to the power structure of the Browns. He reiterated some of the same things he said at the trade’s press conference about the unique situation with the Colts being a playoff contender and needing a RB so they couldn’t wait to make the trade. He was asked about Mike Holmgren’s comments about the trade and was able to subtly jab The Big Show by inferring that Holmgren ran the show for 3 years but now its his turn to turn it around.

When asked by Mike Golic, inferring the reason they made the trade was to draft a QB, how the trade would effect the other quarterbacks on the team Banner said the QBs have a shot to change their mind. He noted how great it would be if they have their quarterback on the roster now and instead can use all of their assets to bring in talent around the QB instead of using them to draft the next QB.

The most telling part of the interview though related to “GM” Mike Lombardi. The quotations are necessary when you hear the way Banner described the trade process with the Colts. He stated though the trade conversations started on Tuesday that it felt like it took awhile because he talked to the Colts GM Ryan Grigson often going back and forth. He then talked about HC Rob Chudzinski being in the loop, stating after he got off the phone he went down and filled “Chud” in on where things stood. He also stated that they were all in agreement from the owner, himself and the coach. In most roster moves these things are handled by the GM. While in big moves like this the CEO/President would be involved, generally these are GM responsibilities. That Banner brought up Chudzinski and how he kept the coach involved, without being prompted, also shows how little Lombardi was connected to this trade.

For some this is a relief. Many Clevelanders do not have good feelings or thoughts towards the current GM. For others this will bring up concern as Banner, not a “football guy,” has brought all power into his office and is not allowing the GM to do his job. Minimally at least he has made the head coach a part of the decision making process, but the interview was confirmation of Lombardi’s role in Cleveland, for better or worse.


Tags: Cleveland Browns Joe Banner Mike And Mike Mike Lombardi Nfl

  • freeme10

    Alright, Banner. If what you say is true, that the QBs on the roster have a chance to change your mind, why didn’t you just start Hoyer on Sunday and not trade Richardson until after that start?

    • Jared Mueller


      2 thoughts: 1) They worried about TRich injury and 2) They weren’t playing him many snaps anyways, about half the offensive snaps, so Trent being around may not of had a huge impact on the game results anyways. We all know there is a low chance Hoyer will prove to be the QB of the future.

      Thanks for the read.

  • paulbip

    I may have said it on this post before the season that Banner and Lombardi are destroying what was left of the Browns. This trade puts the Browns right back to where it was two years ago with a high first and a low first round pick. That means that for the Browns, that draft two years ago was a bust. The number 3 pick turning into around a number 25 pick. I have also stated that that Bean Counter was making picks and he had no idea of what he was doing. I have no idea of where Lombardi fit into all of this, but with his poor track record we can assume that he sucks also. Why can’t the Browns forfeit the remaining games and save the guys from injury. The Browns have hit rock bottom.

    • Jared Mueller


      Not sure you said exactly that but definitely got that feeling from you. You and I agree on a lot but not in how they have done so far. I love what they did on the defensive side of the ball this off-season with Kruger, Bryant and Mingo. I wish they did more at CB and more on the offensive side but I expect them to handle most/all of that this year. Drafting a QB with our pick, the highest rated CB, WR or LB with the Indy pick as well as sign a few free agents. My hopes for this season were pretty simple: 9-7 (or better) or as close to 0-16 as possible. Looks like we might get the later.

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