Chiefs owner gets ‘F-minus’ grade from NFLPA, says team needs to improve facilities

Chiefs owner Clark Hunt admitted Wednesday the Super Bowl champions are overdue for renovations to their practice facilities after the NFL Players Association’s annual report card graded Kansas City the second-worst team in the league overall.

Hunt had just unveiled plans for an $800 million renovation to Arrowhead Stadium that would include plenty of amenities for fans — but little for players — when he was asked about the report card. The NFLPA has produced it the past two years based on surveys of players in an attempt to improve overall working conditions around the league.

The report card gave the Chiefs, who will go for a third straight Super Bowl title and fourth in six years next season, failing grades for their nutritionist/dietician, locker room and training staff. Hunt was given an F-minus as the owner of the franchise, and “a rating of 4.9/10 from Chiefs players when considering his willingness to invest in the facilities.”

“I have not had a chance to see the report,” Hunt told a small group of reporters after the stadium presentation in Kansas City. “I mentioned the practice facility is something we’re going to continue to think about. It’s coming up on 20 years. We’ve certainly in a lot of ways outgrown it and we recognize we need to expand it and modernize it.”

Hunt pointed out that the Chiefs recently renovated the locker rooms at Arrowhead Stadium, but those in the nearby training complex remain untouched. Most of the rest of the facility likewise has gone unchanged over the years.

Kansas City also received a D for its training room and team travel, a D-plus for treatment of families and C-minus for food and cafeteria. Its weighted score put it 31st ahead of only the Commanders, who received failing grades for team travel and training staff and an F-minus grade for its locker room and training room..

“The one bright spot for the team is head coach Andy Reid, who was the highest-rated head coach in the NFL,” the survey said of the Chiefs. “Other than that, the players are frustrated by their workplace offerings, especially after the team’s sustained success in recent years. The responses identify major issues in two areas: quality of care and out-of-date facilities.”

NFLPA president JC Tretter said more than 77% of active players responded to the survey.

At the top of the rankings were the Miami Dolphins, who had no grade lower than an A-minus in any category and received the highest weighted score of any team. The Minnesota Vikings had no grade lower than a B and had the second-best score.

“The (Dolphins’) state-of-the-art facilities continue to impress,” the report said, “but more importantly, are complemented by the number of quality trainers, strength coaches and other support staff who help make the workplace experience one of the best across the league.”

Rounding out the top five in weighted score were the Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars.

At the bottom of the ranking were the Washington Commanders. When their players were asked what issues were most important to fix, the report said, “most players couldn’t come up with just one.”

“Instead, the common answer was the entire facility,” the report said. “The players understand that the new club ownership didn’t create these current problems, and they are hopeful that the new team ownership is willing to do what it takes to fix them.”

This was the first year that the survey included grades for head coaches, owners and dietician/nutritionist.

More than half of head coaches received an A-minus or better, including A-plus grades for Reid, the Lions’ Matt Campbell and the Vikings’ Kevin O’Connell. The lowest grade was a D for the Raiders’ Josh McDaniels, who has since been fired.

Owners who received A-plus grades were the Dolphins’ Stephen Ross and the Vikings’ Zygi Wilf. Along with Hunt, the Steelers’ Art Rooney II and the Cardinals’ Michael Bidwill also received F-minus grades.

The NFLPA worked with Statler Nagle and Artemis Strategy Group on the survey. Players were surveyed between Aug. 26 and Nov. 16 of last year. Answers were collected anonymously.

“Progress rarely comes as fast as you would like,” Tretter said, “but we are encouraged by how many teams made substantial improvements in the wake of last year’s results. Overall, players responded to those changes positively, which is reflected in many of the grades for those clubs.”

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Megargee is an Associated Press sports writer covering college and professional sports in Wisconsin, including the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks, University of Wisconsin and Marquette.