Carl Nassib Released By Raiders In Cost-Cutting Move

Defensive end Carl Nassib at post-game press conference after making game-changing tackle leading to Las Vegas Raiders victory
Carl Nassib (screen capture)

Carl Nassib is being released by the Raiders according to ESPN senior NFL reporter Adam Schefter.

Nassib famously came out as gay last June becoming the first (and only) out active player in the NFL. The decision to release the 6-year veteran doesn’t appear to have anything to do with his coming out and all to do with freeing up salary cap space.

Nassib had one year left on his three-year $25 million contract with the Raiders signed in 2020. Nassib signed with the Raiders as a free agent in 2020. Come June 1 he will be a free agent again.

According to ESPN, “The release of Nassib was not unexpected and will come with a post-June 1 designation, which will give the Raiders a salary-cap savings of $8 million at the time.”


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.

With the NFL in constant need of edge-rushing depth, Nassib should have no problem finding a job this season — it just likely won’t be for $7 million.

Marcus Mosher of Yahoo Sports adds, “At just the age of 28, and with multiple years of starting experience, he shouldn’t have any trouble finding a job soon.”

Cyd Zeigler of Outsports concurs:

Nassib thrilled his fans when he forced a fumble in overtime during the 2021 season opener against the Baltimore Ravens at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The strip sack led to a game-winning touchdown for the Raiders just two plays later. In 13 games last season, he had 21 tackles with 1.5 sacks.

The website Pro Football Focus rated Nassib as the fifth-highest rated Raiders defensive player last season.

Nassib was a 3rd round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2016 after playing for Penn State. He moved to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. His career stats include 22 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and 16 passes defended.

Nassib came out via an Instagram video on June 21, 2021. In his announcement, he also shared he had donated $100,000 to The Trevor Project, the advocacy and support group for LGBTQ+ teens at risk for death by suicide.

For years, many NFL pundits claimed having an out player would be “disruptive” to team cohesion. But there doesn’t appear to have been any fallout from Nassib’s coming out.

Immediately following his announcement, Raiders owner Mark Davis told ESPN: “It’s 2021. All the more power to Carl. It doesn’t change my opinion of him as a person or as a Raider.”

Earlier this month, the Raiders matched his $100K donation to The Trevor Project.