An NFL club doesn’t have the power to release a player just because they haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19, a person familiar with the league’s directive revealed to The Associated Press on Friday .
Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane had suggested earlier this week that he planned to do so in order to provide more freedoms inside the team’s facilities for meetings and fitness programs during the summer season.
This person requested anonymity since the Goodell Circuit has not issued a public directive on this matter. The NFL is currently developing its plans and protocols for summer fitness programs and training camps.
“A team cannot release a player because of their vaccination status,” the person said.
On Wednesday, Beane answered a question about it for a player who would hypothetically be at the bottom of the Bills salary scale. It came as the NFL is easing its restrictions on teams with staff and players who are fully vaccinated.
“You saw him in the locker room; we had three or four simultaneous meetings, and sometimes they have to talk to each other. That was the only way to achieve this while respecting physical distancing, he said of league protocols for limiting the number of players who can meet at the same time. It would therefore be advantageous to release a player (who is not vaccinated), so as to be able to benefit from less strict health protocols.
Beane expects the restrictions to be relaxed, even though he conceded in the same breath that the regulations have still not been clearly established.
“I believe there will be incentives. If you have enough players and employees who are vaccinated, then you can go back to your regular activities and – let’s put it that way – like in the good old days, ”he explained.
“Otherwise, it’ll be like last year,” Beane continued. However, I hope, if these are the rules in force, that we can vaccinate as many people as possible so that we do not have to go through all these headaches again. »
The NFL and the Players’ Association encourage athletes to get vaccinated, but do not require it.