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Carl Nassib, first openly gay active player in NFL history, released by Raiders

carl nassib, Las Vegas Raiders
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Carl Nassib, the first active player to come out as gay in NFL history, has been released by the Las Vegas Raiders.

The 2022 NFL league year has officially begun and teams across the spectrum have been making a variety of moves to reshape their rosters for the upcoming season. That includes making cuts from the roster so that they can get under the salary cap before the official start of the league year at 4 PM ET on March 16.

On Wednesday, the Raiders made such a move when they released defensive end Carl Nassib. ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter was first to report the news.

Carl Nassib cut by Las Vegas Raiders

carl nassib, Las Vegas Raiders
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Nassib was a third-round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2016. He played two seasons there, before moving on two play a couple of more with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 2020, he signed with the Raiders on a three-year, $25 million contract that guaranteed him $16.7 million. His release saves the Raiders close to $10 million on their 2022 salary cap.

Despite showing signs of progression as a pass rush threat over his first four seasons, he had a sharp decline in his performance during his two years with the Raiders. In 2020, he started only five games and saw his sack total drop to 2.5, after earning six the previous season with the Bucs.

In 2021, Nassib played in 13 games but did get to start in any of them. He finished with 1.5 sacks and just 21 tackles.

Nassib made history in 2021 as first first active and openly-gay player in NFL history

Nassib became a national story last summer when he made history as the first active NFL player to go be openly gay.

“What’s up people. I’m at my house in West Chester Pennsylvania. I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” Nassib said in a June 2021 video posted to his Instagram account. “I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now but finally feel comfortable getting it off my chest. I really have the best life, the best family, friends and job a guy can ask for.

“I’m a pretty private person so I hope you guys know that I’m not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important,” he added. “I actually hope that one day, videos like this and the whole coming out process are not necessary, but until then I will do my best and my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting and compassionate and I’m going to start by donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project.”

The 28-year-old won the Rotary Lombardi Award and the Ted Hendricks Award during his final year playing for Penn State.