By Terrance Turner
March 16, 2022
The Las Vegas Raiders have released defensive end Carl Nassib.
Nassib, 28, made history last June by becoming the first active NFL player to come out. In an Instagram video announcing the news, Nassib revealed that he was donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project, the leading suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ youth. (According to the website, these youth are four times more likely than their peers to attempt suicide. The Trevor Project offers a hotline available 24/7, 365 days a year for young queer people struggling with coming out and/or thoughts of suicide.)
Nassib’s revelation came just before the start of a breakout season. In his sixth season as a player, Nassib had 21 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a forced fumble in 13 games, per NBC Sports. On the season premiere of “Monday Night Football”, Nassib and fellow Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby combined to foil Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. Nassib and Raiders cornerback Nate Hobbs blitzed Jackson before he could throw, helping Crosby get his second sack of the night.
Later, with the score tied in overtime, Nassib strip-sacked Jackson, causing him to lose the ball. That forced-fumble gave possession to the Raiders, who wound up winning in overtime, 33-27. “I’ve played in a lot of games,” Nassib told reporters after the game. ”I try to make sure I really remember every single game. I won’t forget this one.”
In the end, even those plays weren’t enough to keep Nassib in Vegas. NFL writer Kevin Patra noted: Nassib remains a solid rotational rusher, but his $7.75 million base salary was too rich for a player who played just 242 defensive snaps and earned 1.5 sacks last season.”
But apparently the Raiders can afford $51 million for another player. Today, the Raiders are also trading edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for corner Rock Ya-Sin; Las Vegas is finalizing a deal with four-time Pro Bowl edge rusher Chandler Jones that will pay him roughly $51 million over three years, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday. After three seasons with the Patriots, Jones played with the Arizona Cardinals from 2016-2021. Last season, he earned national attention for his ferocious performance against the Tennessee Titans, where he sacked QB Ryan Tannehill five times.