New England Patriots players evidently aren’t thrilled with their working conditions at Gillette Stadium.
The NFL Players Association on Wednesday released its “Player Team Report Cards,” compiled using responses from 1,300 anonymous surveys. Players graded how well their own franchises performed in a variety of areas, ranging from travel accommodations to weight room equipment.
Robert Kraft won’t be pleased with the results.
The Patriots’ overall grade ranked 24 out of the NFL’s 32 teams. They were 22nd or worse in five of the eight categories and cracked the top 10 in just one.
“The player respondents’ feedback from our survey described the club’s facility as old, dated and in need of renovation,” the team’s entry read. “The staffing of the current facilities was also flagged as an issue in need of improvement, specifically in the weight room and training room. The player respondents’ indicated that facilities and operations at the Patriots can use a refresh.
“Given the results, it is understandable that only 64% of players believe club owner Robert Kraft is willing to spend the money necessary for upgrades, ranking him 26th in this category.”
The Minnesota Vikings were the highest-graded team, followed by the Miami Dolphins at No. 2 and the Las Vegas Raiders at No. 3.
Here’s how the Patriots fared by category:
Treatment of families: C- (tied for 22nd)
According to the survey, the Patriots are “one of 11 teams that do not offer daycare at the stadium” and “are one of 14 teams that do not offer a family room at the stadium.” In sub-categories regarding “support for players’ families” and “post-game gathering area,” they ranked 21st and 17th, respectively.
Food service/nutrition: B (12th)
The quality of New England’s food ranked 13th, and “68% of players say there is enough room in the cafeteria.”
Weight room: D (31st)
Patriots players believe their weight room is both outdated and understaffed, per the survey. The percentage of their players who believe the team employs enough strength coaches (85%) sounds high but is third-worst in the NFL.
Strength coaches: B+ (tied for 28th)
The Patriots were one of just five teams that didn’t have a strength staff grade in the “A” range. They also ranked 30th in percentage of players who believe they receive an individual strength and conditioning plan.
Training room: C- (tied for 22nd)
A deeper breakdown, via the survey:
— 84% feel they have enough ATCs
— 75% feel they have enough PTs (11th-worst in the league)
— Overall belief that the training room lacks equipment
— There is a steam room (80% feel it is big enough)
— There is a sauna (73% feel it is big enough)
— 77% of players feel they have enough hot tub space
— 81% of players feel they have enough cold tub space
Training staff: A (tied for ninth)
This was the highest New England ranked in any category.
Locker room: C+ (tied for 18th)
The Patriots renovated their locker room before the 2018 season, but it apparently doesn’t measure up to some of the NFL’s best. “The main complaint is that players want a little more room to spread out without feeling on top of one another,” the survey read, adding that “85% of players feel like they have enough space,” which ranks 19th.
Travel: D+ (tied for 25th)
Perhaps the biggest surprise, as the Patriots travel on their private, team-owned 767 plane, nicknamed “AirKraft.” Still, just “54% of players feel like they have enough room to spread out,” though the survey noted the plane’s “seats are all bigger than standard coach seats.”
Perhaps some of these complaints will be remedied when the Patriots finish their $225 million Gillette Stadium renovation, which is scheduled for completion by the start of the 2023 season.