LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Carl Nassib, the first active NFL player to come out as gay, will no longer be a Las Vegas Raider.
Multiple reports on Wednesday indicate the Raiders are cutting Nassib in a salary cap move. He played two seasons as a defensive lineman with the Raiders, recording four sacks, 49 tackles and an interception.
Nassib’s announcement in an Instagram video came in June of last year, and he became a bit of celebrity as sales of his Raiders jersey skyrocketed, becoming the league’s top seller. He got strong support from his teammates and the organization.
The roster move will save the Raiders $8 million on this year’s salary cap as of June, according to an ESPN report. A former third-round pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2016, Nassib spent two seasons in Cleveland and two years in Tampa Bay before landing in Las Vegas.
A report on Twitter from the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero on Wednesday indicated the Raiders are close to reaching a deal with four-time Pro Bowl pass rusher Chandler Jones. Shortly after that report, NFL.com’s Ian Rappoport tweeted that Raiders pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue would be traded to the Indianapolis Colts for a deal that would include cornerback Rock Ya-Sin.
When Nassib came out in June, he said he was donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project, an organization aimed at preventing LGBTQ youth suicide.
The positives from Nassib’s actions were welcome as the team prepared for a season that would turn into a nightmare off the field.
Within months, Jon Gruden brought a new kind of attention to the team’s front office.
Gruden resigned Monday, Oct. 11, after emails surfaced containing racist and homophobic language. The emails were part of an NFL investigation into the Washington Commanders, then known as the Washington Football Team, a franchise beset by accusations of sexism. Gruden has sued the NFL over the disclosure of the emails.
Gruden’s emails were a punch in the stomach for Black players around the league, and particularly hard to take for Nassib, who was given time off by Raiders management.
And then in early November, a crash involving wide receiver Henry Ruggs III left a Las Vegas woman dead. The crash became a lightning rod as other — much more minor — incidents involving Raiders players made the news.
On the field, Rich Bisaccia took over as head coach and the Raiders made the playoffs. But even with that success, change was in the air.
Earlier this month, the Raiders named former New England Patriots assistant Josh McDaniels as their new head coach. Former Giants coordinator Patrick Graham will run the defense.
Nassib is free to sign with any team.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.