A player's vaccination status appears to be crucial for free agents looking for new homes.
According to NFL reporter Aaron Wilson, agents for several free-agent players said clubs are immediately asking if their clients are vaccinated.
Agents for several free agent players said that teams are asking right away if their clients are vaccinated. Uphill fight for unvaccinated players to get signed. Under NFL rules, teams are allowed to ask about players' vaccination status.— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) July 25, 2021
Veteran wide receiver Tyrell Pryor, who hasn't played since 2018, said he was recently denied a tryout due to his vaccination status.
"Had a tryout lined up. (The team) said I can't visit unless I'm vaccinated! Now I'm torn between, tough decision," Pryor wrote Saturday in a since-deleted tweet, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.
Chad Speck, a player agent, also said one of his clients dealt with the same issue.
A #NFL team called today interested in working out & signing a free agent client. When they found out he wasn’t vaccinated they were no longer interested. The rules the #NFL implemented in reality mandates the vaccine for back end roster type players.— Chad Speck (@a3Chad) July 24, 2021
The NFL is not requiring players to be vaccinated. However, the league has implemented strict guidelines for the unvaccinated.
The NFL said in a memo earlier this week that teams who have a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players will be forced to forfeit their postponed games if they cannot be rescheduled within the 18-week schedule.
Unvaccinated players will also be subject to a $14,650 fine every time they violate COVID-19 protocols.
Several players have slammed the league's handling of unvaccinated players, including Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
According to The Associated Press (h/t Boston.com), the number of NFL players in the COVID-19 vaccination process has reached 80%, with nine teams having 90% or more of their players in that category.