Update: The Washington Commanders statement on the NFLPA's survey
“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. 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.”
Dan Snyder has been taking shots from all sides lately, but Washington Commanders players haven’t been able to let the world know how they feel about the team owner. The NFLPA conducted a survey, to which 1,300 players responded, asking about the teams they played for last year. The questions involved things on which the owners aren’t required to spend heavily, unlike the salary cap, which has minimums. Snyder has always been cheap on things like staffing, team facilities, and his stadium, but his free spending fantasy football start with the team gave him a big spender label. Recent revelations about how cash-poor and in-debt he is paint a pretty clear picture of why players have rated the team’s facilities and services so poorly.
The Washington Commanders were dead last overall, and in last place in several categories. The only category that Washington got high marks in was for its strength coaches, and they were tied for first there. Complaints include small locker rooms, weight rooms, training rooms, space for hot/cold tubs, and more. There were also complaints about lack of warm water, and also about drainage issues in the showers. Players don’t have confidence that Snyder will spend the money to upgrade the facilities, and they prefer not to do their rehab there.
Snyder is in the process of selling the team, and if that goes through, the new owner will have a lot of bills on top of the expected $6+ billion sale price and the cost of building a new stadium. Team facilities will have to be upgraded, or an entirely new building will have to be built. A prospective buyer like Jeff Bezos has the money to do all of these things, bringing the franchise in line with most of the others in the league. There have been conflicting reports about Snyder trying to block Bezos from bidding on the team, but the NFL wants to get in the Bezos business, and has been seemingly pushing Snyder to get over his pettiness, take the money and run.
Washington’s players deserve better than this, and so do the fans. Dan Snyder has owned the team for almost 24 years, and it has been a disaster worse than anyone could have imagined when the “local kid” bought his childhood football team. Washington has been one of the teams in the league that usually has to overpay for free agents, and this report is one of the reasons why (and the losing; so much losing).
Sell the team Dan.
The Washington Commanders are ranked 32nd (last) in our team guide. Besides the strength coaches who received great feedback and grades as one of the best groups in the league, the rest of the club’s operations and facilities were rated by player respondents at the bottom of every single category.
The locker room does not have confidence that club owner Dan Snyder is willing to invest to upgrade the facilities, as player responses rank him 31st in this category.
Players had significantly more concerns with each area of the facility than the player respondents on any other team. For example, they were the team most consistently identified as having an understaffed training room.
Players also reported that they have some of the smallest hot and cold tubs for players’ recovery, and only 35% of players feel like they have enough personal space in their locker room. Finally, there are complaints of a lack of warm water and issues with poor drainage in the showers.
Only 22% of players feel like they have enough space on team flights. The Commanders are one of six teams in the NFL that make a segment of their players have roommates before games and one of seven teams in the NFL that do not offer their players first class seats.
Treatment of Families
F, T-29th(last place)
Support of Players’ Families: Ranked 32nd
- The Commanders do offer a family room
- They are one of 11 teams that don’t offer day care at the stadium
Post-Game Gathering Area: Ranked 32nd
Quality of food: Ranked 18th
- All three meals provided
59% of players feel there is enough room in the cafeteria.
The consistent complaint is that the weight room is much too small.
- 93% feel they have enough strength coaches
Players feel the strength coaches significantly add to their success.
- 100% of players believe they receive an individual plan (Ranked 1st)
F-, T-30th(last place)
Players feel that more space and more training tables are needed.
- 46% feel they have enough ATCs (lowest in the league)
- 31% feel they have enough PTs (lowest in the league)
- There is a steam room (78% feel it is big enough)
- There is a sauna (65% feel it is big enough)
- 45% of players feel they have enough hot tub space (ranked 28th)
- 50% of players feel they have enough cold tub space (ranked 28th)
Many players reported that they do not want to do their rehab here.
F-, 32nd (last place)
35% of players feel like they have enough space (Ranked 31st).
- Players want more personal space, better & bigger lockers, and more bathroom space
- Some players complained that there is a lack of warm water and poor drainage in the showers
F-, 32nd (last place)
- 22% of players feel like they have enough room to spread out
- One of six teams that make their young players have roommates
- One of seven teams that don’t offer any of their players first-class seats