NFLPA survey: Vikings, Dolphins, Raiders top free agency report cards

ByDan Graziano ESPN logo
Wednesday, March 1, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NFL Players Association on Wednesday released what it describes as "free agency report cards" for all 32 teams, presenting the results of a player survey on topics ranging from quality of team facilities to treatment of player families. The players' union ranked all 32 teams against each other in the hope of providing players with information they might be able to use in free agency when deciding on new teams.

The three top-ranked teams overall, in order, were the Minnesota Vikings, the Miami Dolphins and the Las Vegas Raiders. The bottom three (ranked 30 through 32, in order) were the Los Angeles Chargers, Arizona Cardinals and the Washington Commanders.

"Player health and safety is our top priority, and we continue to invest in our facilities, including a new practice field, new turf in the practice bubble and increased meeting room space," a spokesperson for the Commanders said in response to the survey. "We know there is more to do, and we regularly talk with our players about ways to improve their work environment and the experience for their families."

NFLPA presidentJC Trettersaid that roughly 1,300 players responded to the survey. Players were asked their opinions on their own teams only and received a 60-question survey covering eight topics: treatment of player families, food service/nutrition, weight room, strength coaches, training room, training staff, locker room and team travel.

"Basically, one of the things we wanted to be able to present to players was, what are the decisions your team is making when given the option to do something for you," Tretter told a group of reporters Wednesday at the NFL combine.

Some of the more surprising survey results included the revelation that three of the league's 32 teams don't keep their cafeterias open for dinner, one of the teams (theCincinnati Bengals) doesn't provide nutritional supplements, and seven of the teams don't offer first-class travel for their players.

Tretter said the plan is to make the survey an annual thing so as to account for changes in coaching and training staffs that address some of the issues. His hope is that the teams on the back end of the rankings learn from the teams on the front end and adjust some of their decision-making accordingly. Some adjustments will be made regardless -- for example, the Chargers plan in the next couple of years to move into their own, newly constructed facility and out of the temporary one they've been using since moving from San Diego to Los Angeles.

"I don't want this to be a mudslinging," Tretter said. "There were a lot of examples of teams doing great things for their players."

The Jacksonville Jaguars dealt with a rodent problem for three to four weeks during the season, per the survey. Players reported that there was "a rat infestation in the locker room and laundry hampers." That earned the team a D-minus on the locker room section of the report.

The only area in which the Jaguars got a worse grade was in family treatment. The Jaguars are one of 14 teams that do not offer a family room and players' wives breastfed their babies on the floor of the stadium's public restrooms, per the survey. The Jaguars are also one of 11 teams that do not provide day care at the stadium.

Players also were not happy with the amount of room in the weight room, but 95% of those who responded to the survey were confident that owner Shad Khan is willing to invest to make the necessary changes.

Khan already has invested. He is splitting the cost with the city on a $120 million football facility that is scheduled to be completed before training camp begins in July.

ESPN's Michael DiRocco contributed to this report.

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