AFC Notes: Lombardi, Polumbus, Ravens, Fins

Mike Lombardi‘s departure from the Patriots after two seasons could close a Cleveland-to-New England pipeline to some degree, and that particular route has been successful to the Pats recently.

The veteran front office executive helped tip Bill Belichick to Dion Lewis and assisted in paving the way for Jabaal Sheard to join the Patriots, Tom Curran of notes.

Lewis spent 2013 on the Browns’ IR after breaking his leg and did not make Cleveland’s 2014 roster. But Lombardi, fired from his brief post as Browns GM in February 2014, helped bring the scatback to the Patriots, with whom Lewis proved explosive, totaling 622 yards from scrimmage in six starts in 2015.

The Patriots extended Lewis quickly last season, signing him for a minuscule two years and $3MM in October before he tore his ACL a month later.

Here’s the latest from the AFC.

  • During the Dolphins‘ stadium renovation fight, Miami Gardens mayor Oliver Gilbert feared owner Stephen Ross could move the team if he didn’t receive public money to help fund an upgrade that ended up costing approximately $500MM, Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald reports. Although Ross ended up financing the stadium with private money, Gilbert took the threat seriously, per Beasley. “I worried some, because sometime people don’t necessarily know what they have until it’s gone, and I never want that to be the case,” Gilbert said. “It’s interesting that we like to call ourselves a world-class community. To be a world-class community, you have to have the Miami Dolphins, you have to have the Miami Heat. You also have to have culture and the arts. You have to have all of those things. It’s a composite.” The project, though, only has a chance at being completed by the Sept. 1 deadline, when the Dolphins host the Titans in the teams’ preseason finale.
  • Peyton Manning wasn’t the only Broncos cog to make a mid-game entrance during the team’s seminal Week 17 victory over the Chargers last season. Tyler Polumbus replaced an ineffective Michael Schofield at right tackle when Manning entered in the third quarter. But the two-time Bronco did not keep that spot in the playoffs, with Schofield reclaiming the job; Polumbus then retired after in April. But in an expansive piece on former Broncos tight end Jeb Putzier‘s struggle stemming from the concussions he sustained while playing in Denver during the 2000s, Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post reports the now-31-year-old Polumbus retired because of an MRI that showed a herniated disc in his neck and four degenerated discs in his lower back that, per Polumbus, caused significant pain last season. He collected a Super Bowl ring with the Broncos after the team, which initially added him as a UDFA in 2008, brought him aboard as a waiver claim early last season.
  • Now that the Ravens cut Eugene Monroe, the only position battle on Baltimore’s offensive line figures to be at left guard between John Urschel and rookie Alex Lewis, John Eisenberg of writes. Urschel stepped in at guard last season, with the Ravens moving since-departed Kelechi Osemele to tackle. A rookie fourth-round pick Lewis, per Eisenberg, turned heads at minicamp this month but adds that John Harbaugh likely won’t start two rookies on the left side. Ronnie Stanley almost certainly will begin the season as the Ravens’ left tackle.
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