Four years after a career season working under Todd Bowles in Tampa Bay, Carl Nassib is back with the Buccaneers, signing a one-year contract with the team on Monday, as ESPN reported. The 29-year-old pass rusher, who spent the past two seasons with the Raiders, had been a free agent since his release in March. Now, reunited with Bowles, Nassib is set to provide defensive end depth for the reigning NFC South champions, who kick off their 2022 season in less than a month.
Originally a third-round draft pick of the Browns in 2016, Nassib posted his best seasons as an edge rusher with the Buccaneers, starting 17 games as a defensive end and outside linebacker from 2018-2019. In fact, it was his production in Tampa Bay -- two straight seasons with at least six sacks, eight tackles for loss and 10 quarterback hits -- that chiefly fueled the three-year, $25 million deal he got from the Raiders in 2020 free agency.
Nassib was more limited during his two years in Las Vegas, totaling just four sacks in 27 games. Off the field, he drew a national spotlight ahead of the 2021 campaign when he became the first active NFL player to publicly identify as gay.
The veteran figures to compete for a reserve role in the Buccaneers' outside linebacker rotation. Shaquil Barrett and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka are locked in as starting pass rushers for Bowles' team, but backup Cam Gill, who had a sack in Tampa Bay's preseason opener, is now battling a foot injury that forced him to exit that game early.