Ocean City native Mike Lombardi is returning to the NFL.

Lombardi, who worked as a TV analyst for the NFL Network and Showtime the last five years, was hired Friday as the Cleveland Browns' vice president of player personnel under new Browns CEO Joe Banner.

Lombardi previously worked with Banner with the Eagles in 1997-98. This also marks his second stint with the Browns, having headed their personnel department in 1987-96. He has 22 years of NFL front office experience. Lombardi has also worked with San Francisco (1984-87), St. Louis (1996) and Oakland (1999-07).

One of Lombardi's first moves will be to help new coach Rod Chudzinski hire a new defensive coordinator. Ray Horton, who is trying to get out of his contract with Arizona after being bypassed for the head coaching position that went to Bruce Arians, is believed to be heading to the Browns.

Ironically, the move will also impact the Eagles. If Horton leaves, the Cardinals are expected to hire Eagles defensive coordinator Todd Bowles to replace him. Bowles, who is still under contract with the Eagles, was their defensive coordinator for the last 10 games this season after then-coach Andy Reid fired Juan Castillo.

New Eagles coach Chip Kelly said Thursday he has already started to make calls to develop his own coaching staff. University of Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is believed to be the top contender to replace Bowles. University of Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart was also mentioned, but Smart is expected to stay with the Crimson Tide.

 

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