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Raiders release defensive end Carl Nassib

Veteran made NFL history in Las Vegas

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Las Vegas Raiders
Carl Nassib
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, the Las Vegas Raiders are parting ways with defensive end Carl Nassib, who made NFL history in 2021. Last June, Nassib came out publicly as the NFL’s first openly gay active player.

The decision to cut Nassib was strictly financial. He signed a three-year $25 million contract in 2020 by the previous regime. Nassib never lived up to that contract on the field. He had just four sacks in two seasons in Las Vegas. His salary-cap relief won’t come until June (just like linebacker Cory Littleton, who is also being cut).

The money saved by these cuts can go to extending the contracts of Las Vegas players such as quarterback Derek Carr and slot receiver Hunter Renfrow, and also can help with signing draft picks and emergency money for the season. But it won’t help immediately in free agency. There is also dead money involved. The team may also cut other players, with linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski being a candidate.

On March 1, the Raiders honored Nassib by matching his $100,000 donation to The Trevor Project that LGBTQ youth.

While Nassib is moving on, he had a major impact in Las Vegas and he will have a forever legacy with the Raiders, a franchise famous for embracing diversity and inclusion.

In his first season out publicly, there was no public negativity surrounding Nassib in the league. He appeared to get full support of his teammates and the organization. Here’s to Nassib quickly getting another opportunity to continue his historic career.