Buffalo Bills Release Punter Matt Araiza

Breaking news from the NFL and the Buffalo Bills on Saturday night: The team announced via general manager Brandon Beane that they have released rookie punter Matt Araiza.

More Leaguewide News: Cole Beasley Signs With Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bills drafted Araiza in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL draft from San Diego State where he set the NCAA record for average punt yardage. In recent days, several media outlets have reported that while at SDSU, Araiza and two of his teammates were allegedly involved in a gang-rape of a 17-year-old minor at an off-campus party last fall.

Buffalo Bills Release Punter Matt Araiza

The allegations levied against Araiza and his teammates are reprehensible in every sense of the word. The Los Angeles Times broke the news story with fantastic reporting by Colleen Shalby and Robert J. Lopez. In their piece, they discovered a civil lawsuit was filed by the complainant in San Diego County Superior Court. The woman, named Jane Doe in the motion to protect her identity, made pretext calls at the request of police, which they recorded. Araiza would confirm they had sex and told Doe to get tested for a sexually transmitted disease. Later in the pretext conversation, she asked him “And did we have actual sex?” Araiza allegedly changed his tone and replied, “This is Matt Araiza. I don’t remember anything that happened that night.” On the night of the event, the complainant noted Araiza could tell she was highly intoxicated and told her to perform oral sex, then had sex with her.  Then Araiza and the other players took her to a bedroom where she was allegedly raped face down for an hour and a half. The final results of the rape kit have not been disclosed publicly.

The Bills were left with no choice in the matter but to release Araiza due to the vile nature of the details in the lawsuit. Doe was clearly traumatized from what transpired and had to finish her senior year of high school online. The Bills should be commended for doing the right thing and moving swiftly to cut ties with Araiza. Let’s hope that the young woman who was affected gets the help and support she so badly needs to move on with her life.