Another day, another former Buccaneer retires.
Former Tampa Bay outside linebacker Carl Nassib has retired. Nassib was a third-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Bucs picked up Carl Nassib, for his first go around in Tampa Bay, after his sophmore season in the league.
During his first two years with the Browns, Nassib struggled to find his footing, totaling a mere 5.5 sacks. He did, however, find himself a role as a quasi-star amidst the team’s 2018 Hard Knocks campaign. He came across as a very loveable character, when the show featured Nassib in a segment where he was seen giving some of his teammates financial advice.
(WARNING there are a lot of bleeps in this clip)
Hard Knocks made Nassib’s name one football fans knew, but it also broke some of their hearts as they had to watch his storyline come to a disappointing end in episode five— ‘Cut Day.’
Bucs fans were treated to front row seats of the second-act in Nassib’s career. Act two was a rebirth. In his debut season with Tampa Bay, he had best season as a professional. He played in 15 games, forced two fumbles, and registered a career-high 6.5 sacks. Dirk Koetter’s regime in Tampa Bay ended following Nassib’s first season in the red and pewter, but a new coach in the equation only brought more good results out of the former Penn State product. Bruce Arians’ first season in Tampa Bay didn’t come with the fireworks of his next two, but 2019 was quite the year for Carl Nassib. Following up his breakout 2018 season, Nassib showed out again for the Bucs in 2019. Recording a career-high in tackles, along with six more sacks, another forced fumble, and his first career fumble recovery, Nassib positioned himself for a big payday in free agency.
Carl Nassib appeared to be reaching the potential he showed at Penn State. In a rotational role, Nassib carved out a pretty nice niche for himself and when he hit the free agent pool the Las Vegas Raiders took the bait.
After 12.5 sacks, over two seasons in Tampa, Las Vegas offered up a $25 million contract and Nassib was a Raider.
The contract was cut short after Nassib quickly began looking more like the Carl Nassib that Cleveland had moved on from as opposed to the one who had found his way in Tampa Bay. After year two, of his three-year deal, Las Vegas decided to part ways with the pass rusher.
Of course, Nassib did grab quite a few headlines during his tenure with the Raiders.
In his post he declared that he would be donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project. His announcement also meant in 2021, when Nassib took the field for the Raiders, he would be the first openly gay NFL player to suit up for regular season action.
After Nassib’s historic season, his release from Las Vegas seemed to put his career at an impasse. He was still a free agent as training camps around the league were underway. It wasn’t until mid-August (and due to injury) that the Bucs came calling and Jason Licht’s free agent steal of 2018 was back again.
In his second stint with Tampa Bay, Carl Nassib took down opposing quarterbacks 3.5 times, his highest total since his last season in Tampa Bay, and registered his second career fumble recovery.
The three best seasons of Carl Nassib’s career all came with a pewter helmet on his head and a pirate ship stitched to his jersey— He said as much in his official retirement statement—
He may have never been an elite-tier pass rusher but Nassib gave the Bucs a solid, quality, depth piece to rotate in on game days over the course of three seasons (in two separate terms) with Tampa Bay.
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