NFLPA survey: Cardinals receive poor grades for team facilities

Mar 1, 2023, 1:43 PM

Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill addresses reporters at the team facility in Tempe, Arizona,...

Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill addresses reporters at the team facility in Tempe, Arizona, after firing head coach Kliff Kingsbury on Jan. 9, 2023. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

The Arizona Cardinals posted one of the worst GPAs in the league when looking at the NFLPA’s report card released Wednesday.

In an effort to give free agents a better idea of the teams around the league, the NFLPA sent out a questionnaire to every player on 2022 rosters last March asking for input on their current teams. A total of 1,300 players responded in the month of data collection.

Taking into account eight categories — family treatment, nutrition, weight room, strength staff, training room, training staff, locker room and travel — Arizona graded out second to last among the rest of the NFL in overall score.

Only the Washington Commanders posted worse marks.

Of the eight areas, Arizona received failing grades in five of them: treatment of families, nutrition, weight room, training room and locker room.

The Cardinals’ only A came from their strength staff ran by Buddy Morris, while the training staff and team travel each got a B+.

From the player union’s website:

The locker room does not have confidence that owner Michael Bidwill is willing to invest to upgrade the facilities, as he ranks the lowest in that category across the league. The responses that provide the bases for that characterization include: the worst-ranked weight room, which some players feel is a safety hazard; an outdated training room and locker room; and a policy of deducting dinner from players’ paychecks should players want to get food from the facility.

The report card comes out after Arizona’s training facility was scrutinized by former Cardinals center A.Q. Shipley, who called the Tempe location outdated while on the Pat McAfee Show in January and went as far as to say it could have had an impact on Sean Payton taking the open head-coaching vacancy in Denver as opposed to Arizona.

Bidwill has since dispelled that rumor, telling Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta during Newsmakers Week that the Cardinals were not comfortable with the draft compensation they would have had to give up to acquire Payton’s services.

The owner added that the head-coaching search also provided the team an inward look.

“What I think we learned was not only different ways to coach but also different ways to acquire talent and different ways to look at talent,” Bidwill told Bickley & Marotta. “And then lastly, where is this player performance development and sports science space today and are we lagging? Where do we need to make additional investments? That’s sort of the next area we’re really going to be focused on.”

A full look at how the Cardinals graded out in each category of the NFLPA report card:

– Treatment of families: F (T-29th)
– Food service/nutrition: F- (T-30th)
– Weight room: F- (32nd)
– Strength staff: A (T-17th)
– Training room: F- (T-30th)
– Training staff: B+ (T-22nd)
– Locker room: F (31st)
– Team travel: B+ (T-12th)

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