Some NFL executives downplay NFLPA survey results, because of course they do

The NFL Players Association has established a new tradition. Some in the NFL understandably don't like it.

Of course they don't. The NFLPA has found a way to harness the collective voice of the players. And it's giving teams and owners something many don't like.


As we said during Thursday's PFT Live, owners and team executives can respond to bad marks in one of two general ways. First, they can take the feedback to heart and vow to make changes. Second, they can dismiss it, ignore it, and/or try to undermine it.

Not surprisingly, some are doing the latter — without putting their names to it.

Via Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal, some executives "raise questions about the survey and wonder how useful it really is." They also believe the main variable for most categories is the "age of facilities," with teams that build a new building being rewarded with a bump in grade.

Per Fischer, some unnamed executives "also wonder how many respondents have enough context to judge their own team, whether factual claims raised by respondents are actually verified, or what other factors might be driving their perception." They also point out that there's "little apparent correlation between the results and on-field performance."

It's all part of the effort to deny, deflect, and dispute the undeniable feedback from the players. Although Fischer doesn't present it this way, it also seems as if the NFL has scoured the Collective Bargaining Agreement to see whether the union has the right to conduct the survey.

What a shame. The players have found a way to exercise actual power and influence. And it's resonating with media and fans. Of course owners who can't be fired are unhappy that someone is telling the world that they aren't as great as their team's success on the field might suggest.

Instead of taking the criticism to heart and trying to get players to feel better about the various categories addressed in the survey, some predictably will try to come up with something/anything to make themselves think the players got it wrong.

Even if they got it right.

So pay no attention to the men behind the curtain. The players have spoken in a loud, clear voice, for the second straight year. Absent a mechanism for understanding how teams and owners treat players other than the input of the players themselves, these grades will continue to go on the permanent records of the various franchises and the people who run them without fear of ever being replaced.