Kansas City Chiefs’ defensive end, Charles Omenihu, has been handed a six-game suspension by the NFL for an incident that occurred last season during his time with the San Francisco 49ers. The suspension comes under the league’s personal conduct policy and relates to Omenihu’s arrest in January on charges of domestic battery and illegally tampering with a wireless communication device.
According to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, Omenihu reached an agreement in which he pleaded no contest to the charge of obstructing the use of a wireless communication device. As part of the agreement, he performed community service and underwent counseling for a total of 32 hours. Court records suggest that Omenihu participated in a diversion program, resulting in the expungement of the conviction upon completion of his sentence.
The incident that led to Omenihu’s arrest involved a heated argument between the player and his girlfriend at his Santana Row apartment. After discovering a message on the victim’s Instagram account that upset him, Omenihu allegedly shouted at her, spat in her face, and attempted to remove a shirt she was wearing. The situation escalated further when Omenihu grabbed his girlfriend’s arm and swung her into a wall. He also disconnected a 911 call she made during the altercation, and as she left the apartment, pushed her again, causing her to fall.
The suspension means that Omenihu will be barred from playing in the first six games of the upcoming season for the Chiefs. However, he will still be allowed to practice with the team and participate in exhibition games. Acquired from the Houston Texans by the 49ers in a trade last year, Omenihu played in all 17 regular-season games for San Francisco. He recorded 4 1/2 sacks, three tackles for losses, and was second on the team with 16 quarterback hits.
The 49ers were aware of Omenihu’s arrest at the time and stated that they were gathering information on the matter. The player remained silent about the incident, playing in the NFC Championship Game soon after. Omenihu became a free agent following the season and signed a two-year contract worth up to $16 million with the Chiefs, receiving $8.6 million in guaranteed money at signing.
Although the Chiefs moved swiftly to acquire Omenihu in free agency, the 49ers opted to sign Clelin Ferrell, a former Oakland Raiders end and first-round draft pick, to a one-year contract. They also added Austin Bryant from the Detroit Lions to reinforce their defensive line.
While Omenihu’s suspension will have financial implications, costing him approximately $360,000 in game checks, it serves as a reminder of the NFL’s commitment to addressing personal conduct issues and ensuring player accountability.