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Veteran defensive end Carl Nassib returns to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on 1-year contract

Vincent Frank

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have added a reinforcement on the defensive line, signing veteran Carl Nassib to a one-year contract on Monday.

Nassib, 29, was an original third-round pick of the Cleveland Browns out of Penn State back in 2016. He joined Tampa Bay in 2018, playing two seasons with the team while recording 25 QB hits and 12.5 sacks in the process.

Nassib then spent the past two seasons with the Las Vegas Raiders before being released this past spring due to salary cap reasons.

The Buccaneers have been active adding veterans to the mix during the summer, signing tigh end Kyle Rudolph and wide receiver Julio Jones in recent weeks. This just adds another layer to that.

Nassib will compete for playing time behind starters William Gholston, Akiem Hicks, Joe Tryon and Shaq Barrett out on the edge.

Related: Tampa Bay Buccaneers schedule and game-by-game predictions

Carl Nassib signing is a clear indication the NFL is noving into a new era

carl nassib signs with tampa bay buccaneers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Nassib made history last June by becoming the first openly gay player in NFL history when he was a member of the Raiders. His decision to come out public was well received by both the Raiders’ organization and players around the league after years of the NFL being stuck in its old ways.

“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. 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,” Nassib said on Instagram.

“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. 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.”

Carl NAssib (June 21, 2021)

Nassib is right. There needs to be a time rather soon that stories such as the one we are covering today are not actually part of the lexicon. We’re just not at that point right now with him still being the only openly-gay player in the NFL today. A trendsetter of sorts.

As for his impact on the football field, Nassib has more than proven he’s capable of making an impact throughout his career.

  • Carl Nassib stats (2016-21): 164 tackles, 53 QB hits, 22 sacks, 4 forced fumble

The veteran now has a chance to prove himself again with a legitimate Super Bowl contender in the Buccaneers.