Raiders cutting DE Carl Nassib

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The Las Vegas Raiders are cutting ties with defensive lineman Carl Nassib in a salary cap move after two mostly unproductive seasons.

ESPN reported Wednesday that the Raiders will cut Nassib in a move that will save them $8 million in room on this year’s salary cap as of June.

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Nassib’s biggest impact with the Raiders came off the field last June when he became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib got strong support from his teammates and the organization.

The Raiders signed Nassib to a three-year, $25 million contract in 2020 but he never took on a big role on defense, playing less than half the snaps on defense each season.

His best highlight on the field came in last season’s opener when his strip sack in overtime against Lamar Jackson set up the winning touchdown in the Raiders’ 33-27 win over Baltimore.

In 27 games over two seasons with the Raiders, Nassib had four sacks and 13 quarterback hits.

Nassib was due a $7.75 million salary this season, which was too expensive for the Raiders given his production. Las Vegas had restructured his contract last season and will carry a dead cap charge of $1.65 million this season and $4.95 million next season to account for bonuses that hadn’t hit the cap.

The Raiders also have added some help for the interior of their defensive line, agreeing on a two-year contract with versatile defensive lineman Bilal Nichols.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 15:  Carl Nassib #94 of the Las Vegas Raiders flexes during warmups before a game against the Denver Broncos at Allegiant Stadium on November 15, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 37-12.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 15:  Carl Nassib #94 of the Las Vegas Raiders flexes during warmups before a game against the Denver Broncos at Allegiant Stadium on November 15, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 37-12.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
((Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images))

A person familiar with the deal says Nichols has agreed to leave Chicago to sign with the Raiders. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the move hadn’t been announced by the team.

NFL Network first reported the signing and said Nichols’ contract is worth $11 million with $9 million in guarantees.

The Raiders needed help on the interior of their line with Quinton Jefferson, Solomon Thomas, Johnathan Hankins and Darius Philon all hitting free agency after getting the bulk of the snaps there last season. Las Vegas previously signed Andrew Billings to compete for time there in 2022.

Nichols fits well into new coordinator Patrick Graham’s defensive scheme that will feature three down linemen in the base sets. Nichols has experience playing all three spots in that kind of defense in his four years with the Bears.

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Nichols had 51 tackles with three sacks and five tackles for loss in 17 games last season. He also had 31 quarterback pressures, according to Pro Football Focus.

Nichols was originally drafted by Chicago in the fifth round out of Delaware in 2018. He has missed only five games in four seasons and has 11 sacks, 18 tackles for loss and 84 pressures.

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