INDIANAPOLIS — Patriots players are not satisfied with multiple aspects of their experience in Foxborough, according to new information collected by the NFL Players Association.
As part of an initiative called “Club Report Cards,” the NFLPA graded all 32 teams on their overall working conditions for players, focusing on eight key categories: treatment of families, food service/nutrition, weight rooms, strength coaches, training rooms, training staffs, locker rooms, and team travel.
The Patriots ranked 24th overall and earned only one A (training staff). Their weight room received a D, team travel a D+, treatment of families a C-, the training room a C-, food service/nutrition a B, and strength coaches a B+.
The weight room was by far New England’s worst category, ranking 31st in the league ahead of only the Arizona Cardinals, who received four F’s total.
According to the report card, Patriots players feel their facilities and equipment have remained the same for “a very long time.” They called the facility “old, dated, and in need of renovation,” while noting the weight room also feels understaffed.
Elsewhere, players feel there is a lack of equipment in the training room, which ranked 22nd in the league, and lack of space within the locker room, which ranked 18th. Players would like additional room to spread out without, in their words, “feeling on top of one another.”
The Patriots ranked outside of the top 10 in every category except for their training staff, so few responses were overwhelmingly positive. Among the more favorable pieces of feedback: Most players feel there is enough space within the steam room, sauna, hot tubs, and cold tubs.
But the potential areas for improvement stood out much more. Only 54 percent of Patriots feel they have enough space when traveling. The Patriots are also one of 11 teams that do not offer daycare at the stadium and one of 14 teams that do not offer a family room at the stadium.
New England’s strength coaches received a B+ but still ranked 28th because the majority of teams had positive reviews in this category. Eighty-one percent of players believe they receive an individualized strength and conditioning plan, which is the third-lowest number in the league.
Perhaps more importantly, only 64 percent of Patriots players believe team owner Robert Kraft is willing to spend the money necessary for upgrades. That confidence level ranks 26th.
As for how other teams fared? The Minnesota Vikings and their state-of-the-art practice facility finished No. 1 overall, receiving A’s across the board. The Miami Dolphins, Las Vegas Raiders, Houston Texans, and Dallas Cowboys round out the top five.
At the bottom of the league, the Washington Commanders finished No. 32 overall, receiving four F’s as well as complaints about poor drainage and lack of warm water in the showers.
The Cardinals, who are the only club to charge for dinner; Los Angeles Chargers, who are in a temporary facility until 2024; Kansas City Chiefs, who ranked last in training staff; and Jacksonville Jaguars, who dealt with a rat infestation make up the bottom five.
With 1,300 players sharing confidential feedback, the NFLPA outlined two primary goals from this initiative: create a resource for free agents, and spur changes.
“If knowledge is really power, then providing players with information about each club would not only help them make important career decisions, but it would also help raise the standards across each club,” NFLPA president JC Tretter said in a statement.