NFLPA hits Cardinals for worst weight room, charging players who eat meals at team facility

Arizona Cardinals Introduce Jonathan Gannon as Head Coach
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The NFL players’ union says the Cardinals are the only team in the league that charges players to have dinner at the team facility, and have the worst the weight room in the league.

The Cardinals’ report card issued by the NFL Players Association says that players on the Cardinals were the only players in the league who reported having money deducted from their paychecks if they grabbed dinner from the team cafeteria or had a meal when they showed up for additional offseason workouts.

“If players would like dinner, it will be boxed up for them, but players reported that the team will charge you via payroll deduction. This is apparently the only Club that does this,” the NFLPA says. “Players reported that if you work out at the facility after the season is over, the team charges you for every meal eaten at the facility (again, apparently the only team in the league that does this).”

A team that wants to win should want its players eating nutritious meals and putting in extra time in the weight room, but the NFLPA says Cardinals players question whether Cardinals ownership is too cheap to take the necessary steps to field a championship team.

“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 NFLPA says. “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bases for that characterization include: the worst-ranked weight room, which some players feel is a safety hazard; an outdated training room and locker room; and a policy of deducting dinner from players’ paychecks should players want to get food from the facility.”

This is a big offseason for the Cardinals, who are trying to rebuild the franchise with new General Manager Monti Ossenfort and new head coach Jonathan Gannon. Ossenfort and Gannon may need to impress upon their boss that you don’t build a winning culture by nickel and diming players.

61 responses to “NFLPA hits Cardinals for worst weight room, charging players who eat meals at team facility

  1. Arizona, where they’ll add clauses to their franchise QB’s contract meanwhile skimping him on equipment & nutrition

  2. why should millionaires (or anybody) get free meals. the weight room i get. like if you said there were roaches in the food, that would be different, but no free meals…cry me a river

  3. I bet they charge because if they didn’t, the players would leave half of it on the table uneaten. Entitled millionaires know what’s best for us, though.

  4. Wellington Mara told a very entertaining story about this franchise’s owners. Apparently back in the 70’s or 80’s the Giants played at the Cardinals, and lost a tight one at the very end. Mara, in frustration, kicked a chair/bench or something and broke it in the visitor’s owner’s box. So he apologized to Bill Bidwill and gave him a $100 bill to cover it. Mara said the following year when they played at the Cardinals again, he went in the visitor’s box and it was still there not fixed…

  5. Funny that this totally biased reporting by the NFLPA fails to mention the free ping pong.

  6. AZ Cards team motto – BYOP: buy your own pads.

    Bidwell is such a miser that you know darn well he was the one responsible for the study clause in lil’ Kyler’s contract and Keim was so weak he wouldn’t stand up to Bidwell to say no.

  7. The spirit of Dollar Bill lives on. Bidwell’s have owned that team since 1932, and their last Championship was 1947. Good luck boys, you’ll get it right one of these centuries.

  8. Arizona can be a dysfunctional franchise from top to bottom… AND, at the same time, Kyler Murray can be an overpaid prima donna dope. These things might be related but they don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

  9. Well there is being frugal and then there is cheap, if every other team in the league supplies dinner than this just being cheap.

  10. Sounds like the Bengals of the ’90s. Word gets out free agents aren’t going to want to come there

  11. I mean is anyone surprised the cardinals do this? It’s been known for a long time they are a cheap poorly run organization.

  12. If they don’t pay for meals on 31 other teams doesn’t it hurt your recruitment?

  13. I cannot cry about a bunch of millionaires paying for their own meals. My son was deployed to Afghanistan with the Marines and I was shocked to find out our soldiers pay for their own meals when deployed.

  14. This is a good way to let free agents know to stay as far away as possible. This is something that teams like the Bengals and Chargers used to be known for… It doesn’t sound like much, but being nickel and dimed by a billionaire never goes over well…

  15. Or MAYBE Arizona has state tax laws that says off-hour meals need to be charged or be included as a taxable benefit??

  16. Off season don’t offer meals…. Maybe only nutritious snacks/fruits….
    Training camps & regular season thru playoffs they should provide meals to players at no charge
    That should fall under monitoring of players health & nutritional development….
    Simple & done
    Fix/update weight room & lockers if needed….educate players on respecting equipment & putting things back in proper place when done….

  17. In those rankings the Chiefs ranked 29th overall.

    Success isn’t relied upon if players get free food or have state of the art locker rooms.

    It helps for those that want those amenities, but doesn’t translate into championships.

  18. This is a very underhanded tactic owners have used for years to sell their team or push minority owners out. But it can backfire if the players recognize it as a challenge as it did with Judge Goodwill Banner (NY Knights) and Rachel Phelps (Indians)

  19. Huh, these guys are all millionaires and they’re upset about paying for a chicken salad?
    Feels really entitled to me. They’re not family. They’re employees. This isn’t Google where they cater to wimpy tech millennials.

  20. This is small potatoes.Arizona looks good on most all other categories.Check out the link in the article and you can see all teams ratings on all categories.Arizona does not require younger players to have roommates unlike Kansas City and a few other teams.

  21. love the irony of so many calling the millionaires entitled while treating the billionaires like blue collar workers

  22. i dont think the weight room and paying for meals are the reasons why the cards are not a contender. even if they had the greatest weight room in the world the guys have o be in it to see gains and get batter, and i doubt kyler was a constant presence in the weight room in the off season, unless they have a e gaming weight room for finger exercises.

  23. I enjoyed reading all the grades. My friend is a Vikings fan and he keeps telling me how great ownership is, and he was right. My Giants did pretty well. The Jets however didn’t, I’d think they’d be pretty close.

  24. Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Bill was notorious for being cheap and fielding bad teams.

  25. In Junior High based on my science teachers sliding scale this would average out to a pretty good C-

  26. Been telling people forever and a day that it’s a trash organization. Michael is just a younger version of his dad.

  27. Actually take a look at the rankings of the last handful of Super Bowl winning teams. They all ranked in the bottom 10. That’s the story from this survey that needs to be highlighted.

  28. You would think the Cardinals would do everything in their power to keep the players coming back in the offseason. This makes no sense.

  29. Hazard a guess that national beat NFL writers might have some interesting “texture” to add about the ratings. In quickly glancing at the grades on the landing page of the NFLPA report, it appears that Dallas, Green Bay, and Vikes, are all at or near the top. If accurate, kudos to those organizations for setting a decent standard.

  30. Why does anyone here care if teams feed the players for free? Is the food coming out of your fridge, or something? Can we please have some of the “life’s not fair” wisdom we hear when players are cut during their contracts?

    Many MANY people in the world live lives of incredible privilege that most of us will never experience. But go ahead, get all worked up because billion dollar franchises give a perk to their players – most of whom aren’t the “millionaires” you all seem to think they are.

  31. It isn’t about comparing you and I having to pay for our own lunch. It’s about competeing with other teams, if you want to be seen as the best destination for (NOT) free agents then you have to compete with the teams that provide the most for them. It’s is similair to using tax dollars for stadiums, if you want the team you have to compete with other cities that want the team too. Best package wins.

  32. Ahhh the PFT commenters crying about “spoiled and entitled millionares” all the while completely unaware of what a billionaire is. Fox News, you’ve done it again.

  33. I’d love to see the tech they have for watching film…thinking a couple of those carts like we had in high school, that have a 35″ RCA TV strapped to the top shelf and a VHS player on the middle one.

  34. Whining over multi-millionaires having to actually pay for their own food when millions of school kids get charged for food every day IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

    How much is enough for this hyper-entitled wealthy class?

  35. wecomefromthestars says:
    March 2, 2023 at 11:47 am

    Ahhh the PFT commenters crying about “spoiled and entitled millionares” all the while completely unaware of what a billionaire is. Fox News, you’ve done it again.


    We’re all perfectly aware of what a billionaire is. Both are fellow members of the elite 1% who deserve no sympathy. Millionaires are not victims.

  36. Whether you think players should be charged for meals or not, it’s a bad look when you’re the only NFL club that does it

  37. It was this kind of behavior that knee capped one of the best minds in the NFL – Kliff Kingsbury.

    An offensive genius frankly.

  38. Surprisingly the Kansas City Chiefs rank 29th.

    Apparently a franchise quarterback and a legitimate shot to win a championship every year is more important to players than the quality of the facility.

  39. I love the luncpail joes that complain about “entitled players” or “millionaires” not wanting to pay for meals. The NFL is not your job. And also, get this…they have a UNION and i would wager not many of you do. Not that this lunch thing is against the agreement, but its a kind of good faith thing that franchises do to keep dudes happy that are literally battered and bruised and tearing ACLs know, stuff most of us dont do. Its amazing how every year the “Fans” of the NFL complain more and more, up and down about just how “unfair” it is and how “rigged” it is…sound familiar? #maga

  40. Seems like a lot of folks in unskilled labor do not understand that free food is indeed a perk that skilled labor often receives.

    My company routinely gives out lunch stipends for a variety of our workers including our sales force and IT department. A buddy of mine is an executive chef for Google who provide some pretty top end cuisine to their coders and managers.

    When your company wants to entice skilled workers it often throws in little perks like these.

  41. So, the Cardinals are the only team NOT violating the salary cap for essentially behind the scene $$$ given to their players.

  42. It’s surprising how many people forget that to train and perform at the level that NFL athletes do requires an insane amount of calories. These programs are developed and designed in specific ways to get the players the proper macro nutrients and calories they need on a daily basis. The Athletic did an awesome article around the SB about how Lane Johnson has had his diet tailored to consume over 5,000 calories a day in order to maintain the right mass to go up against mountainous men every snap. People who compare NFL players eating to typical workers are missing the forest through the trees IMO. Not the same. Player performance on the field is directly tied to their diets and food consumption.

  43. Remember, this is the franchise that used to send Fed Ex to players and bill them for it, lol. Same old Cardinals. For those who are like this is not a big deal when all of the other teams do it, even the really bad ones like the Chargers, you’re demonstrating why your team would have a terrible atmosphere too. It’s like I remember this job I had in college, and when I first got there, there was all of these employee perks that made you happy to be there when they’d ask for overtime or for you to do extra. Then, they sold the company, and the new people got rid of all of that. People started quitting and looking for new jobs left and right. Workers are people, not just commodities.

  44. If the Cardinals are the only ones charging their players (employees) for meals, then their back office deserves praise for appropriately applying federal tax law. Food from employer to employee is a taxable benefit. Using payroll deduction is one of the correct ways for employees to pay.

    If players are getting free meals from the employer, those meals must be imputed as income and taxed appropriately as it is a form of compensation. This may come to bite all the other teams in the butt by complaining about having to pay and bringing the issue to light.

  45. “why should millionaires (or anybody) get free meals. the weight room i get. like if you said there were roaches in the food, that would be different, but no free meals…cry me a river”


    First off at the end of the day it’s pretty simple…this is a business and the players can opt to go to any of the 32 franchises out there. Like people who work for google or MS if one chooses to pay for your meals that is a perk your probably going to consider to work there.

    Second off stop it with “millionaires” last I checked you can’t do it. And you know what I can’t be a doctor or lawyer either …I’m not good enough in school so do I go around name calling them because their profession demands a high salary for the extreme amount of time they put into their craft? If you hate the millionaires so much stop watching them!!

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