Did Lane Kiffin Collude with Michael Lombardi in the Randy Moss Trade?

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst IMay 24, 2009

Here is something that has made me wonder.  As we all know all too well, Lane Kiffin can be referred to by many derogatory terms about his intelligence and tact.

Kiffin has already violated multiple NCAA rules on tampering and has made false accusations against NCAA coaches.

What I've wondered however is: How far back does this behavior of Kiffin's go?  Is it a new phenomenon in his life or is it the global truth about Lane Kiffin, extending back to his days at USC and before then?

If it is the global truth about Lane Kiffin, then it begs the question in my mind: Did Lane Kiffin and Michael Lombardi collude in the trade of Randy Moss for personal gain and in order to retaliate against Al Davis and an attempt to procure another job?

Lombardi also had reason to retaliate against Davis for re-hiring Coach Art Shell, whom called-out Lombardi in 2006 and banned him from the practice field in 2006.

2007 NFL Draft / Of Cronyism and Revenge

During the NFL Draft of 2007, Raiders personnel executive Michael Lombardi was practically a dead man walking and would be terminated by the Raiders on May 7, 2007.  Lombardi's swan song however was to pull the trigger on the trade that sent Randy Moss to New England for a fourth-round pick.

When Al Davis terminated Lane Kiffin in 2008, he also accused Michael Lombardi for tampering in the Moss trade by contact with Bill Belichik.

Lombardi, like Kiffin, was another drama queen within the Raiders organization that couldn't accept that Al Davis calls the shots.  If you sign on with the Raiders, the authority of Davis is not only implicit, it's contractual.  So if you don't like it—tough.

Fortunately for them, those rogues have an easily manipulated media in order to dump all the blame on Al Davis for Al Davis. 

What exactly do we really know about the internal workings of the Raiders other than the words of turncoats who think they must protect their reputation?

Nevertheless, telling people to 'suck it up' and accept their decisions will often go in one ear and out the other on a high speed Amtrak train. 

It does then make me wonder if Michael Lombardi, who reportedly knew that his termination was imminent in 2007, decided to take a policy of slash and burn in retaliation for the fact that he flopped in Oakland to the detriment of his career, but also an attempt to procure another job with his former colleague Bill Belichik in New England.

He wanted to blame Davis for his ruined career as an NFL executive (because of Al's decision to re-hire Art Shell and Tom Walsh in 2006) when the real culprit was himself.

The Connection

My personal feelings on the issue are irrelevant, all that matters is the veracity of the information.  This stuff is so good, I cannot make it up.

According to the report about the termination of Michael Lombardi, his successor Mark Jackson was chosen by Lane Kiffin.  Jackson reportedly worked the phones in trade talks (ahem) during the 2007 NFL Draft.

Perhaps then, as I said, Lombardi brokered a deal with Kiffin.  Lombardi knew his time in Oakland was over, because the Raiders had been making plans for several months before then to replace Lombardi with Mark Jackson.

Why would Lane Kiffin want to trade Randy Moss? 

As it turned out in the 2007 NFL Draft, the Raiders would also acquire QB Josh McCown and WR (wait for it) Mike Williams from (wait for it) Lane Kiffin's offense at USC.

In other words, Lombardi got his revenge and possibly another job, while Kiffin got not only one of his own, but a friend.

Surely to, Lombardi must have believed that such a trade would position him well in any interviews for job-openings within the Patriots organization, but Belichik has yet to return that gesture. 

Likely because, the Patriots would be embroiled in the Spygate scandal, while Davis would accuse Lombardi of tampering; thus preventing the Patriots from hiring Lombardi without the appearance of impropriety.

The Lane Game

As we have seen, Kiffin is an egocentric drama queen that vainly thought his cronyism could revive the career of Mike Williams.  After all, Kiffin and Williams had remained in contact after Williams entered the NFL in 2005.

Just as Kiffin attempted to fire defensive coordinator Rob Ryan in 2008 in order to hire his dad, Monte Kiffin, whom is now employed alongside Lane at the University of Tennessee.

Funny story, in 2008, I decided to write a letter to Lane Kiffin.  The reason being that even at 4-12 in 2007, I thought that Kiffin had brought the team together unlike the previous coaches. 

In that letter, I stated that I thought he had the team in the right direction and begged that he not do something stupid.

Shortly thereafter, Kiffin attempted to fire Rob Ryan to hire his dad, Monte.  Don't know if Kiffin read the letter, but the timing was eerie and comical.

The reality of this all is, that Lane Kiffin and Michael Lombardi should have received the blame for the trade of Randy Moss. 

Thus, it is clear that the termination of Lane by the Raiders was justified.



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