Raiders fire Mike Lombardi

Lane Kiffin is part of the new authority

In a move that has been expected for months, the Raiders on Wednesday announced the firing of personnel executive Mike Lombardi.

No reason was given in a statement released by the team.

‘'Michael Lombardi has been relieved of his duties with The Oakland Raiders. The Raiders wish Michael and his family well.''

Lombardi's job had been in jeopardy since last season when a behind-the-scenes feud with former head coach Art Shell became public. Lombardi, who was reportedly unhappy with the team's decision to hire Shell in the first place, was not allowed on the practice field and was kept at arm's length from the football operations side of things.

Late in the 2006, the feud reached a new level when Shell lashed out at Lombardi, though not by name. Shell accused Lombardi of calling reporters around the country and criticizing the Raiders coach staff, particularly then-offensive coordinator Tom Walsh.

Shell was fired at the end of Oakland's 2-14 season while Lombardi remained on the team's payroll. But that was only a temporary reprieve as it turns out.

Lombardi had seen the writing on the wall. During the press conference announcing the hiring of head coach Lane Kiffin, Lombardi -- who normally attends such events and usually sits beside owner Al Davis -- was instead jogging around the business park where the Raiders' facility is located.

Lombardi has also contacted several teams around the NFL seeking out potential jobs but with no luck.

The Raiders have been making plans for Lombardi's successor for some time now. Mark Jackson, Kiffin's choice, has been handling much of the contract dealings and was working the phones discussing trades during the draft. Another report indicated Mike Mayock, a draft analyst for the NFL Network, was the front-runner for the job. Former Jets assistant and personnel man Pat Kirwan is reportedly also being considered.

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