Chiefs $16 Million Starter Takes Issue With Contract: ‘I Should Be Paid More’

Getty Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Charles Omenihu.

Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Charles Omenihu, who is one year into his two-year, $16 million deal with the Chiefs, told Inside Texas’ Justin Wells that he believes he’s not getting the money he deserves.

“The biggest way how I keep my chip on my shoulder now is I feel like I should be paid more,” Omenihu said on February 26. “I feel like I should be in the discussions of, maybe not in the realm of the Myles Garrett or the Bosa. Maybe not in that discussion, but the second tier guys? The next tier? For sure I should be in that discussion.”

Omenihu echoed similar remarks when he joined the NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” crew on Monday.

“I think I did, to be honest,” Omenihu said when asked if he thinks he’s done enough to get a new deal. “Like you said, seven sacks in 11 games and then the sack in the championship game to kind of spark off the wave of defensive plays. Finished second on the team in sacks and didn’t have the first six games to catch up with George [Karlaftis] and Chris [Jones]. I think I did, I think the tape speaks for itself. I think I showed dominant run play and then with the pass rush, inside and outside and just winning one-on-ones, creating turnovers, being the spark and, like, the energy plays they wanted me to be when I got there.”

When healthy, Omenihu’s play outweighs the $8 million average annual value (AAV) of his contract.

In 11 regular season games played during the 2023 season, Omenihu registered 29 total quarterback pressures (17 hurries, 7, sacks, 5 hits), 13 stops, and 2 forced fumbles, per PFF. In 3 playoff games, he recorded 8 total QB pressures (7 hurries, 1 sack), 1 stop, and 1 forced fumble.

Charles Omenihu Needs to Get Healthy First

The problem with Omenihu wanting to be paid more is that he is not currently healthy.

Omenihu suffered a torn ACL during the AFC Championship against the Baltimore Ravens. Though he was confident he would be ready for the 2024 Super Bowl, further testing confirmed that Omenihu tore his ACL and couldn’t play in the Super Bowl. He underwent surgery for his torn ACL on February 20, per NFL Media’s James Palmer.

Based on the recovery timeline for that type of injury, Omenihu is expected to be sidelined for a portion of the 2024 season.

The best ability is availability, which is why Omenihu isn’t deserving of a new deal until he plays again in 2024 and proves he can still be highly productive within Kansas City’s defense. At that point, the Chiefs could opt to pay him what he’s worth or Omenihu could take to free agency again and get a big payday in 2025.

Charles Omenihu Issues Message After Surgery

On February 23, Omenihu shared a message on X, formerly Twitter, to his haters.

“Love seeing other people trying to gage when I’m going to come back from something. Or what type of player I am,” he wrote. “I would think after this year people would stop second guessing me but guess not. I keep all receipts though.”

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