Now that the regular-season train is rolling, teams will be even less inclined to endure the five-day waiting period that applies before the unvaccinated player can officially join the team.
As one agent recently explained it, the current calls from teams include two preliminary questions: (1) “do you represent [insert player name]”; and (2) “is he vaccinated?”
If the answer to either question is “no,” that’s the end of the discussion. And that’s the way it will be, all season long. There are too many available players who are vaccinated. That makes it even harder for the unvaccinated guys to get a chance.
Consider the situation that recently unfolded in Baltimore. They lost Gus Edwards for the season, after losing J.K. Dobbins and Justice Hill. They needed to move quickly. They sign Devonta Freeman and Latavius Murray. If they had to wait five days to sign either guy, would they have waited? Hell no. There’s a game on Monday night, and the situation is sufficiently dire that one or both of the new guys may be needed. (Indeed, Murray went straight to the roster, not the practice squad.)
Thus, whether it’s Cam Newton or anyone else looking for an NFL opportunity, that decision to not be vaccinated is going to make the decision a lot easier for a team that may want to bring you in. Their decision will be a quick and abrupt negative.