Players on NFL rosters who have been vaccinated will have a much easier time in 2021. Players not on NFL rosters who have been vaccinated will have an easier time in 2021, too.
Per the league, fully-vaccinated free agents, tryout players, and players acquired from other clubs will not be tested before working out for the team or joining it. Non-vaccinated free agents, tryout players, and players acquired from other clubs must test negative for five straight days. They also can’t enter the facility until Day 5 — if all other tests are negative.
This distinction instantly makes vaccinated players who are not on a roster FAR more attractive than players who aren’t. For vaccinated free agents, it’s 2019 all over again. For non-vaccinated free agents, it will be a repeat of 2020.
Why would a team want to wait five days before trying out a player or signing him as a free agent or trading for him or claiming him on waivers when vaccinated players will be readily and immediately available? These are bottom-of-roster players, where the talent level is relatively equivalent. If a team needs a receiver, the team can acquire one who can instantly join the team. Ditto for tryouts; why wait five days to kick tires on a non-vaccinated player when a vaccinated player can be brought in right now?
It’s another very real incentive for players to get vaccinated, especially if those players have a realistic chance to not make a 53-man roster and to be spending time searching for another job.