The Patriots are close to hiring former Cleveland Browns general manager Michael Lombardi, who will come to New England in the personnel department.
"It's essentially a done deal," a league source said.
Lombardi was an influence in the Patriots 2010 through 2012 NFL drafts, which were arguably better than the immediate drafts that preceded those years under Scott Pioli. He had been with the Browns for a little more than a year before being fired Feb. 11 along with Browns CEO Joe Banner.
Belichick has a relationship with Lombardi that goes back to their time in Cleveland together from 1991 to 1995 when he was the head coach for the Browns and Lombardi worked in the team's personnel department. The two have been long-time friends, with Belichick valuing Lombardi's player evaluations.