Charles Omenihu eternally grateful to 49ers as he enters NFL free agency

Omenihu eternally grateful to 49ers as he enters free agency originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SANTA CLARA -- Versatile defensive lineman Charles Omenihu came to the 49ers in a trade from the Houston Texans during the middle of the 2021 NFL season.

As he exited the team’s locker room on Tuesday, there was considerable uncertainty about his future.

“From the moment I got here, it’s been good,” Omenihu said. “It’s been everything I hoped for. And I appreciate them. I appreciate the Niners.”

Omenihu is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The 49ers have sole negotiating rights until the NFL’s open-negotiating period begins on March 13 at 9 a.m. PT.

“My tape is going to be my resume,” he said. “It’s going to be what people have to look at to determine wherever they see my market. I hope I put enough out there that I have options for wherever I’m going go.”

Omenihu's market will likely hinge on the outcome of his current legal situation. He was arrested last week on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic violence.

The 49ers looked into the allegations, and coach Kyle Shanahan announced the organization did not conclude any actions were necessary.

"We feel very good about letting the legal process take care of itself and don’t feel we should kick him off the team at this time," Shanahan said last week.

Omenihu played 38 defensive snaps in the 49ers' 31-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday. He registered two tackles and one quarterback hit.

On Tuesday in his first public comments since his arrest, Omenihu said he could to comment on the pending legal issue and did not know how long it would take for the situation to be resolved.

He expressed appreciation to the entire organization, naming Shanahan, general manager John Lynch, defensive line coach Kris Kocurek, defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and assistant D-line coach Darryl Tapp.

“I’m eternally grateful to them and eternally grateful to this organization,” he said. “It’s a first-class organization. And I appreciate them.”

Omenihu entered the NFL in 2019 as a fifth-round pick of the Houston Texans. He played in all 20 games with the 49ers this season with three starts.

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He registered 4.5 sacks during the regular season. Omenihu and Arik Armstead tied for the team-lead in the postseason with two sacks apiece.

Omenihu has the versatility to split time between defensive end and defensive tackle. And that’s the way he said he wants to continue to be used.

“When I got into the league, that was the thing for me, to show versatility,” he said. “So why hand-cuff myself?”

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