Michael Lombardi claims Randy Moss trade cost him Raiders job
Michael Lombardi, a former executive for the Pats (among other teams) has made his name as a supposed insider into the New England machine. But now, he's opened up about a bit of his career outside of the Patriots. Talking with Tom Curran on NBC Sports Boston, Lombardi revealed that helping arrange the Randy Moss trade to the Patriots while he was still with the Raiders eventually led to his firing.
"I got fired because I told Bill Belichick that (Moss) could still run and Al got mad at me because I told Bill that. I still can't figure out why Al got mad at me when Al wanted to trade (Moss), but that might require a whole different book...After that press conference Al Davis threw everyone under the bus, [Patriots owner] Bob Kraft, Bill Belichick and myself, saying that I told Bill Belichick that Randy Moss could still run...I was trying to do the best thing for the Raiders, always have...In this situation, Bill Belichick is not going to always rely on my opinion for information. He is going to look at what he sees on the tape.""
For his part, Davis maintained that Lombardi's disclosure was somehow an act of sabotage.
"You know how many teams turned [Moss] down?...Green Bay thought he couldn't run anymore. Even Denver, where they'll take anybody, turned him down. But [Lombardi] knew he could run, he's a friend of Belichick's...Mike sold [Belichick] on the idea that he could run. They tampered with him.
It's definitely odd that Lombardi decided to connect the dots only now, over a decade after the original incident occurred. But after even a cursory look at both sides of the story, it's pretty clear Davis objected to Lombardi telling the Patriots that Moss was still fast after a disastrous tenure in Oakland. Whether or not it cost him his job, it's hard to say--but it wouldn't be surprising if that was actually the reason after all.