Patriots Players Scorch Team In NFLPA Poll

The New England Patriots rank near the bottom in the latest NFLPA player survey.

Jan 7, 2024; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe (4)
Jan 7, 2024; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe (4) / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
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With the New England Patriots' lack of success in recent seasons and fall from dynastic grace, national and local talking heads and opposing fan bases have quickly pounced on the opportunity to ridicule the franchise. Well, presented with a similar opportunity, the Patriots players themselves didn't hold back in their assessment of the state of affairs in Foxborough during the most recent NFL Players Association survey, released on Wednesday.

Patriots Receive Horrible Grades from Own Players in Latest Survey

As Zack Cox pointed out, only three teams received worse overall grades in the report than New England.

While the Patriots often drew frustration for not adapting their offense to today's NFL and keeping up with the times, apparently they adopted a similar approach with their facilities. New England most notably received an F- in treatment of families and an F (and 32nd out of 32 teams) in the weight room category.

The timing of the NFLPA report card is also not ideal from the Patriots' standpoint with free agency slated to start in two weeks. Any free agent and representative who has done their homework should press New England on these grades, and perhaps some will be turned off completely.

Landing some marquee free agents during this period is integral to getting New England back on track, but in light of today's report, they will definitely have some questions to answer.

With Jerod Mayo's succession of Bill Belichick, many Patriots fans have been optimistic that the transition could signal a changing of the guard in Foxborough. New England's head coach grade (i.e. Belichick) ranked 27th out of the 32 teams.

This grade would also validate one reported reason that Belichick did not receive a job during this hiring cycle: fears over his inability to relate to this generation of players. However, there are several revelations made through the report that are simply out of the head coaches' control and lay at the feet of ownership.

Ownership, which received a D+ ranking, has inexcusably skated relatively free during the Patriots' downfall. Their lack of cash spending on the roster has been well-documented and their overall cheapness can be traced back to Pete Carroll days when Kraft quickly informed the new head coach they would only be providing players with "bologna sandwiches, and chips and stuff like that".

If ownership hasn't been spending on the field or player facilities, where have they been spending?

Well, the $250 million Gillette Stadium makeover last offseason might have something to say about that. Patriots fans are already clamoring for the team to win another title, but I don't think "largest sports stadium video scoreboard in the United States" was quite the banner they were looking to raise.

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