Commanders owner Josh Harris promises change after failing grade in NFLPA survey 

March 29, 2024

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Washington Commanders owner Josh Harris did not take too kindly to getting a failing grade from the NFL Player Team Report Cards last month. 

“I’m not an F- minus guy, I didn’t know you could get an F-minus,” Harris said with a smile while speaking to a small group of reporters at the NFL owners meetings this week. 

Josh Harris looks on before NFL game

Washington Commanders owner Josh Harris looks on from the sidelines prior to a game against the San Francisco 49ers at FedExField on December 31, 2023, in Landover, Maryland. (Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Data collected from the second annual NFL Player Team Report Cards were released in late February and included feedback from 1,706 players throughout the league, equating to more than a 77% response rate, a significant increase from last year’s 60%. 

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But the Commanders received the worst overall rankings in several categories and ranked 32nd among all teams. 

“Obviously, we’ve jumped all over that,” Harris continued. “First of all, that report was based on interviews that occurred right around the ownership change. But having said that, it’s clearly something that we’re focused on, and in fact, Adam and Dan had to leave the NFL meetings briefly to go have a discussion with architects. 

“We’re trying to make a lot of changes there quickly, and obviously it starts with – the NFL player community is a small community, the NFL coaching community is a small community, we want to be a place that everyone says ‘That’s a great place to be,’ and therefore we need to upgrade that facility, and we are upgrading that facility.” 

Josh Harris celebrates on the sideline

Washington Commanders owner Josh Harris celebrates on the sideline during the second half of the game against the Arizona Cardinals at FedExField on September 10, 2023, in Landover, Maryland.  (Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

The sale of the Commanders to the Josh Harris-led investment group was approved by NFL owners in July. The survey, according to the NFLPA, was conducted from August until November. 

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Because of time constraints, Harris explained that it will take time to implement sweeping changes, but a move in that direction is already in the works. 

“It’s gonna be about the player experience, the player lounge, refinishing a bunch of things, but we have a lot more planned in terms of looking at the playing surface itself, looking at the locker room, the bathroom facilities – everything we can do right now to make our players feel great about coming to work, feel comfortable, feel well taken care of, we’re gonna do.” 

Josh Harris speaks at a press conference

Washington Commanders owner Josh Harris speaks at a press conference at Commanders Park in Ashburn, VA, on January 8, 2024. The conference was to announce that the Commanders are parting ways with head coach Ron Rivera following a disappointing 4-13 season. (Craig Hudson for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

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The Commanders ranked 32nd in many of those areas Harris mentioned, including the locker room and training room. They finished second to last in treatment of families, training staff, team travel and head coach. 

The team announced in February, just before the report cards were released, plans to spend $75 million on both stadium and facility upgrades and hired a consultant late last season to evaluate player wellness operations.

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