The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are signing veteran edge rusher Carl Nassib, according to multiple reports that surfaced late on Monday.
The signing comes soon after Tampa Bay linebacker Cam Gill suffered a Lisfranc injury in Saturday's preseason game against the Miami Dolphins. Gill's timetable for a potential return was unclear, but the Nassib signing suggests Gill's absence could be on the longer side.
Nassib, 29, made history last year with the Las Vegas Raiders when he became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. He registered 37 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 13 games last season, before being cut in the spring in what was widely reported to be a salary cap move.
Monday's news was well-received among gay sports fans and journalists. Cyd Zeigler, a writer for Outsports, said Nassib's signing after he'd come out as gay was "absolutely huge."
Nassib, who previously played with the Bucs from 2018-19, will be returning to the team where he had his move productive seasons. He tallied 12.5 sacks, 63 tackles, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and two passes defensed in Tampa Bay in 29 games while playing in the defense of former defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who is now the team's head coach.
Prior to his first stint with the Buccaneers, Nassib spent the first two years of his career with the Cleveland Browns, who drafted him out of Penn State in the third round in 2016.
For his career, the Pennsylvania native has 163 tackles, 22 sacks, four forced fumbles, and 16 passes defensed in 86 games.