Prior to the 2011 NFL draft, NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi speculated that Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett was going to be a first-round pick. In early January, Lombardi said selecting quarterback Brandon Weeden at No. 22 last year was a "panicked disaster" and Colt McCoy gave the Browns a better chance to win.
If you connect the dots, one could speculate that Lombardi would prefer Mallett as his starting quarterback over Weeden. That's what led the Boston Globe's Greg Bedard to tweet: "For Patriots fans, Mike Lombardi getting Cleveland personnel job puts possible Ryan Mallett trade back on front burner."
Lombardi spoke today of having a good relationship with Patriots coach Bill Belichick, so that could help facilitate a trade between the teams.
When asked about his critical comments about Weeden on Friday, Lombardi said, "I think it's going to take some time to study him. When you live in the building, I think you have a better understanding of the player moving forward. It's going to take me some time to really formulate my final opinions of him."