We’re less than three weeks away from training camp, which means the NFL Draft is almost here. The Oakland Raiders are expected to take USC defensive end Carl Nassib in the first round, and he’s one of the more intriguing prospects in the entire draft. That’s because, at 6-foot-5 and 265 pounds, he’s one of the most imposing pass rushers in this year’s draft.
Even before the NFL announced that it was planning to move to Los Angeles, Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr had made it clear he was not going to go quietly into the night. He’s not happy with the team’s move to LA, and he’s not going to stand by and watch the team get screwed over while he gets screwed over in the process.Derek Carr has been a Raider since the beginning. He grew up a fan of the Oakland Raiders in Fresno, California, and even said he would rather retire than not play for the Las Vegas Raiders. Now, in true Raiders fashion, he sends a warning to the entire league not to bully his teammate.
Carr joined Chris Collinsworth on his podcast to talk about a variety of topics, including his teammate Carl Nassib, who is the first openly gay man among active NFL players. Carr shared his thoughts on the subject and made it clear that his teammates would support Nassib this season.
Las Vegas Raiders DE Carl Nassib has come out as gay
He also announced a $100,000 donation to the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ youth. pic.twitter.com/5Xobd9s0pp
– Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) 21 June 2021
How’s it going guys, I’m Carl Nassib, the Las Vegas Raiders linebacker written at 21. June on her Instagram page. I’m home in West Chester, Pennsylvania. I just wanted to say that I’m gay.
With this simple and direct statement, Nassib became the first openly gay active player in NFL history.
In his video, Nassib expressed hope that such announcements will not be made in the future. At this stage, however, he considers representation and visibility very important, which is why he has decided to go public.
Shortly after the announcement, he received a message and a phone call from Captain Raiders Carr.
When Carr spoke via video link to the host of the Chris Collinsworth Podcast Featuring Richard Sherman, Collinsworth asked him about his and his team’s reaction to Nassib’s statement.
Like the Raiders quarterback and because of my faith, people immediately turned to Carr for his thoughts. He said his first reaction was to call Nassib and write to him.
QB told Collinsworth when he reached Nassib: I said: Carl, I love your brother, and I said you know I love you and support you no matter what. You’re my brother, and I just want to win the Super Bowl with you.
Carr also said the locker room is fully behind Nassib. They even stand ready to defend him if someone tries to take him down:
Our team was working on it. … They all say, without a doubt, that we cover his back, and that he is our brother, so if you want to contact him, you have to go through us.
Carr bolstered this response by saying that not everyone agrees with this lifestyle and that some players have raised one or the other. But he says the Raiders are like a sworn family and everyone loves and supports Nassib.
Raiders Las Vegas QB Derek Carr | Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
The 2021 NFL season will be the fourth year of Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden’s 10-year, $100 million contract. In the first three years of this contract, the Raiders have underperformed (19-29).
However, the team has gotten better each season, going from 4-12 to 7-9 and 8-8 in 2020. If Gruden can continue this trend and hit .500, the Raiders could make the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
In the offseason, the Raiders solved their offensive line problem by signing veteran Richie Incognito and selecting Alex Leatherwood as the number 17 pick in the draft. They added receiver John Brown to a young and talented but underwhelming receiving corps that included 2020 first-round pick Henry Ruggs III.
But the main thing Gruden and the Raiders have (finally) done differently is fix the defense. With the exception of the team’s first and last picks in the 2021 draft, they selected defensive players with every other pick. They also signed free agents Yannick Ngakoue, Quinton Jefferson and Solomon Thomas to the defensive line.
If the Raiders’ defense can keep pace with the results Gruden’s offense has achieved in his first few seasons, the Raiders have a good chance to contend with the Kansas City Chiefs to win the AFC West or make the playoffs as a wild-card team.
All statistics are from Pro Football Reference
EPILOGUE: The Las Vegas Raiders’ $2.02 billion Death Star Stadium will have the most luxurious VIP suites in the sports world.
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