AFC East: Mike Lombardi
Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis last week accused the New England Patriots of tampering with receiver Randy Moss before swinging the deal that sent him packing in April 2007 for a fourth-round draft choice.
Davis, in a casual interview session after his Sept. 30 news conference to announce he was firing head coach Lane Kiffin, claimed former Raiders executive Mike Lombardi helped good friend Bill Belichick with inside information.
In a taped interview that first will appear at 9 p.m. Wednesday on Showtime's "Inside the NFL," Lombardi sat down with Cris Collinsworth to tell his side of the story.
Collinsworth: Did the tampering take place?
Lombardi: Absolutely not. 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. Well, we were trying to trade Randy Moss to the New England Patriots. I thought that was good information to give Bill Belichick. But now [Davis] accused all of us of making those charges and now he is going to have to face them.
Collinsworth: Did you help Belichick to the determent of the Raiders?
Lombardi: Without a doubt, I did not. 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.
Collinsworth: If they are frivolous claims, is there something the league can do to the Raiders?
Lombardi: The Raiders received a letter form the league office this week saying "Look, do you have anything to claim about the tampering charges because it's been 18 months? Do you have something to say because, if you don't, you are in violation of the club integrity rule."
They want to balance the integrity of the game, but they don't want other clubs throwing mud against each other. That's the point here. The Raiders have 18 months to make this charge, and all of a sudden after this press conference, Al Davis does make the charge. I think it has more to do with [Randy Moss'] 23 touchdowns than it does with actual tampering.
Al Davis, still in his Battlestar Galactica outfit, had some choice words on many subjects after Wednesday's bizarre news conference to announce he had fired head coach Lane Kiffin.
|Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images|
|Raiders owner Al Davis accused the Patriots of wrongdoing in regards to Randy Moss.|
Davis claimed Kiffin didn't want Moss anymore and accused the Patriots of tampering by privately running Moss through a workout before the deal.
"You know how many teams turned him down," Davis said, according to San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami's blog. "That guy in Green Bay thought he couldn't run any more. Even Denver, where they'll take anybody, turned him down.
"But what's his name knew he could run. He's a friend of Belichick's, [former Raiders executive] Mike Lombardi. Mike sold what's his name, Belichick, on the idea that he could run. They tampered with him.
"I remember [Patriots owner] Bob Kraft saying that he had to look him in the eye and all that. They went down and worked him out. He could run. He's their team, of course, with the quarterback."
Ol' what's his name responded a few moments ago on a media conference call.
"I've told the story about Randy many, many times," Belichick said. "The first time I ever talked to Randy was the Sunday morning of the second day of the draft last year. That is the first time I met him, the first time I talked to him. No, there was no workout. There was no other contact with him."