The NFL on Monday suspended Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay without pay for four games, citing the league's personal conduct policy.
The suspension appears to stem from a January misdemeanor arrest for alleged property damage "less than $1,000." The ban takes place immediately and will sideline Gay for upcoming games against the Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Las Vegas Raiders and Buffalo Bills.
Gay, a third-year veteran, starts for the Chiefs and is second on the team with 16 tackles through two games. He won't be permitted access to team facilities or practice during the first two weeks of his suspension. He's slated to make approximately $1.1 million in salary this season, the third of his rookie contract. Pro-rated for four games, he'll lose roughly $256,000 in salary during his ban.
What Gay is accused of
Police arrested Gay in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park on Jan. 19. Per the police report, Gay "unlawfully and knowingly" damaged property including a vacuum cleaner, wall and door frame at the home of his children's mother. The total value of the property damage was less than $1,000, according to police.
Gay's agents Maxx Lepselter and Ryan Rubin issued a statement at the time of his Jan. 20 arrest:
"Willie was at his sons (sic) house visiting. He and the mother got into an argument during which he broke her vacuum. No one was touched, nothing happened beyond broken appliance. She called cops about it and they took him in on misdemeanor destruction of property of less than $1000."
Gay reached plea agreement
Gay entered a not-guilty plea at the time and reportedly agreed to a diversion program in a June plea agreement. Per the terms of the reported agreement, Gay agreed to undergo mental health counseling and submit to alcohol and drug testing for 12 months in addition to paying fines, fees and restitution. Prosecutors are expected to dismiss the case if he completes the terms of the agreement.
The arrest took place prior to Kansas City's playoff games against the Bills and Cincinnati Bengals. Gay played in both games, tallying four tackles against the Bills and five tackles and two passes defensed in the AFC championship game loss to the Bengals.
His suspension is the second handed down by the NFL this season for a violation of the league's personal conduct policy. The league suspended Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson for 11 games after 24 women accused him of varying degrees of sexual assault and sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions.