Mike Lombardi to Patriots: Where he fits in to the New England hierarchy

Michael Lombardi Patriots
Michael Lombardi talks with Norv Turner prior to a Cleveland Browns preseason game in August of 2013. Credit: Getty Images

The Patriots have seen multiple coaches bolt in this young offseason as former linebackers coach Pepper Johnson shot up to Buffalo and former offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia retired. The front office has remain intact, though Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio interviewed for the Miami Dolphins GM position.

Reports say that Caserio was offered the job, though another report says that there may have been a reluctance from one side or the other regarding Caserio’s desire to fire Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin. Either way, Caserio is back with the Patriots. But just how much say does he have in New England’s front office right now?

The Patriots reportedly hired recently fired Browns GM Michael Lombardi Thursday, though his role has not yet been specified. The Patriots do not currently have an official “General Manager” listed on the team website, though it’s widely understood that the personnel buck stops with head coach Bill Belichick.

Giving Lombardi the GM tag over the 38-year-old Caserio would be considered something of a slap in the face to the young executive, who has overseen drafts in which the Patriots have landed tight end Rob Gronkowski, linebacker Jerod Mayo, wide receiver Julian Edelman, safety Devin McCourty, cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, defensive end Chandler Jones and linebacker Jamie Collins.

The Patriots could opt to give Lombardi the tag of “Senior Football Advisor,” the title former Titans GM Floyd Reese was given when he was hired by the Patriots in 2009 after Vice President of Player Personnel Scott Pioli left to take the Kansas City Chiefs’ GM job. Pioli was recently given the title of “Assistant General Manager” in Atlanta, working under Thomas Dimitroff.

Follow Metro Boston sports editor Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS



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