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NFL report cards: Despite another Super Bowl win, Chiefs again ranked among worst workplaces by players

INDIANAPOLIS — A poll of 1,706 NFL players once again produced some eyebrow-raising highlights and lowlights for franchises across the league this week, as the NFL Players Association released their second annual club report cards on workplace conditions.

Grading across a band of 11 categories — including a new look into head coach job performance and willingness of owners to invest in facilities — the report cards once again focused an internal light on how players view the workplace inside their franchises. The union once again stressed that the report cards are not perceived to have a correlation to wins and losses on the field, but instead aim to judge the experience of what it’s like to work inside each player’s respective team.

That said, the report once again provided some predictable grades and continuing anomalies when actually compared to the most and least successful franchises in the NFL. Among them:

  • The Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs were ranked 31st overall (after 29th last year) in a compilation of the weighted categories. The Chiefs scored a D+ or lower in a stunning seven aspects, including treatment of families (D+); Training Room and Team Travel (both Ds); Nutritionist/Dietician, Locker Room and Training Staff (all Fs); and a league-worst score in ownership (F-). The ownership score was based on a commitment to invest in facilities. According to the NFLPA, players criticized owner Clark Hunt for a failure to renovate the team’s locker room following the 2022 Super Bowl winning season

  • The top five tranche of overall scores went to (in order of score) the Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars. The bottom five tranche, ranked from 28th to 32nd overall, were the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Chargers, Chiefs and Washington Commanders

  • While Andy Reid was ranked the top coach in his job performance category with an A+, former Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniels finished at the bottom of the league, ranked 32nd and with a score of F-

  • The biggest jump in the rankings went to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who were infamously outed in last year’s survey as having a rat infestation in their previous practice facility. That rat problem played a part to tanking the Jaguars overall grade to 28th during the 2022 season. With a new practice facility opened and multiple other categories improving, the Jaguars soared up the overall rankings to 5th in the 2023 season

  • One franchise that did not see any marked overall improvement despite new ownership in 2023? The Washington Commanders, who once again finished 32nd overall in the rankings and had a league-worst F- in three different categories, including locker room, training room and treatment of families

  • Interestingly, the Arizona Cardinals did see a small bump in the rankings in what appeared to be a direct response to the NFPLA’s report card one year ago. During this year’s survey, players noted that the team began offering day care and a small family room, and halted their practice of charging players for dinner during the week. That earned Arizona a modest bump from 31st overall in the rankings to 27th

  • Two interesting financial nuggets that stood out, given that they are tied to billion-dollar franchises: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who finished 24th overall, charged non-starting players with less than four years of experience a fee of $1,750 if they wanted to opt out of having a roommate in their hotel room prior to games. And the Chargers offered a discount on gameday daycare services: $75 for the first child and $50 for each additional child

Overall, the NFLPA’s leadership of president J.C. Tretter and executive director Lloyd Howell said there was some marked overall improvement across the league in a range of categories. That indicated to the union that teams were responding to last year’s report card, which was the first of its kind in polling players on their perception of workplace conditions.

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