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Michael Lombardi hired by New England Patriots

INDIANAPOLIS -- Michael Lombardi is not headed back to his post with the media after losing his job as general manager of the Cleveland Browns. Instead, he's joining an old friend in New England.

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The Patriots announced Thursday that Lombardi will be joining the team as an "assistant to the coaching staff," a surprising title for a man who has mostly worked in the front office. Lombardi traveled with the Patriots to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

The long-rumored move reunites Lombardi with Bill Belichick. Lombardi was Belichick's director of player personnel in Cleveland in the mid-90's.

In one sense, the hire is surprising. Belichick had a lot of previous chances to hire Lombardi, but they hadn't worked together in almost 20 years. But after a rough end to Lombardi's second tenure in Cleveland, Belichick sent his friend and confidant a lifeline.

On the latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast," the guys speculate on big names who could be cut, then talk offseason forecasts for the Packers and Raiders.

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