Matt Araiza

Jets To Work Out P Matt Araiza

The Jets made a change at punter this offseason, signing veteran Thomas Morstead and waiving Braden Mann. Despite this addition, the team will also be the first known connection to Matt Araiza since the Bills cut him last summer.

Araiza is set to work out for the Jets on Wednesday, Adam Schefter of reports (on Twitter). The Bills waived Araiza, a 2022 sixth-round pick, following an allegation he was involved in a gang rape of a minor. Since that allegation became public in August 2022, Araiza has been cleared of criminal charges. A San Diego State investigation also did not produce any findings Araiza was involved in the alleged rape, according to Alaina Getzenberg of

A civil lawsuit against Araiza is ongoing, with a civil trial set for October. The Jets will still look into a player who broke an NCAA record in 2021 after averaging 51.19 yards per punt. The Bills chose Araiza 180th overall last year, and he punted for the team during the preseason. Once the accusation surfaced, however, Buffalo sidelined Araiza for its final preseason game and soon waived him. Araiza, 23, spent last season out of football.

The civil suit alleges Araiza had sex with the accuser at an off-campus party and brought her into a bedroom where “a group” of men raped her. The woman, who was 17 at the time of the October 2021 party, said she told friends immediately after she had been raped; she reported it to the San Diego Police Department the next day. During a 10-month criminal investigation into Araiza and two other members of the San Diego State football team, however, a witness said Araiza was no longer at the party at the time the alleged rape took place. The accuser’s attorney disputes that witness’ reliability, according to Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports.

Araiza has said any sexual contact between he and the accuser was consensual. The punter’s agent later sent 20 teams a recording of a December 2022 meeting between a San Diego County prosecutor, the accuser and her attorney, Brent Schrotenboer and Josh Peter of USA Today report. The recording includes a series of video clips showing the teen’s sexual encounters at the party; none show Araiza, who declined an offer to settle the case for $50K.

Although the woman was 17 at the time of the alleged rape, Araiza has said he believed she was 18. The audio interview includes the prosecutor telling the accuser, “I have to be able to prove that [the suspects] knew your age.” The accuser maintains she was intoxicated “to the point of not being able to consent to sex” and indicated the above-referenced video clips do not paint a full picture of that 2021 night’s events, Peter and Schrotenboer report.

Even as the criminal investigation produced no charges for Araiza, the fallout still threatens to keep him out of the NFL. But the Jets will still take a look during OTAs. The Jets gave Morstead, 37, a one-year deal worth $1.3MM in March. They guaranteed the veteran specialist $1.1MM.

P Matt Araiza Will Not Be Charged In Connection With Alleged Gang Rape

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office is not charging former Bills punter Matt Araiza in connection with an alleged gang rape, Alex Riggins of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (on Twitter).

Araiza was named in a civil lawsuit that accused he and two other San Diego State football players of raping a then-17-year-old girl in October 2021. The accusation led to the Bills cutting Araiza in August. Buffalo drafted Araiza, 22, in this year’s sixth round. None of the other players implicated in the suit will be charged, according to the Union-Tribune’s Lyndsay Winkley and Teri Figueroa.

The civil suit alleges Araiza had sex with the accuser at an off-campus party and brought her into a bedroom where “a group” of men raped her. The teen said she told friends immediately after she had been raped, and she reported it to the San Diego Police Department the next day. The case went to prosecutors for review in August, but Wednesday’s development will not lead to charges.

The DA’s office indicated it is “clear the evidence does not support the filing of criminal charges and there is no path to a potential criminal conviction.” The accuser’s attorney said (via The Athletic’s Tim Graham, on Twitter) the victim’s intoxication on the night of the alleged rape influenced the police’s view of the case. Araiza’s attorney called the civil suit a shakedown in August.

Araiza won the Ray Guy award as the top Division I-FBS punter last season and was drafted 180th overall. The Bills waived him two days after the civil suit surfaced. Buffalo has used Sam Martin, whom Denver released after training camp, as its punter this season.

Bills To Waive P Matt Araiza

Bills rookie punter Matt Araiza has been told by the team that he is being released, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). The move will be effective immediately.

The news comes in the wake of a recent lawsuit alleging that the San Diego State alum was involved in the gang rape of a minor last season. Araiza was one of three players named in the suit, the only one currently in the NFL. Since the alleged incident took place while he was in college, any discipline he faced would need to have come from the Bills, rather than the NFL itself.

Araiza’s attorney called the lawsuit a “shakedown” as a result of his status as the team’s top punter. The sixth-rounder had won the job when Buffalo cut veteran Matt Haack. Expectations had been high for Araiza, who earned the nickname ‘Punt God’ for his powerful leg showcased during his college career.

Signs were pointing to his release, however. Araiza did not dress during the Bills’ preseason finale, and the team used third-string QB Matt Barkley to handle punting duties. Not long after, Araiza issued a statement indicating that “the facts of the incident are not what they are portrayed in the lawsuit or in the press.”

Nevertheless, the team began putting together a list of available punters earlier today, as noted by Tim Graham of The Athletic (on Twitter). With Haack having already signed in Indianapolis, the Bills will now be without a punter on the roster.

General manager Brandon Beane said that the team – which issued a statement immediately following the lawsuit saying that they were recently made aware of the incident and had conducted a “thorough investigation” – had difficulty obtaining details on the matter. He added that “there are many things that we could not get our hands on” and that “this was about letting Matt go handle his situation” (Twitter link via Schefter).

“We tried to be thorough and thoughtful and not rush to judgment, and I would say it’s not easy. You’re trying to put facts around a legal situation sometimes with limited information… We reached out to double-digit teams and no one had anything on teams. Yes, if we had this… Anything that would’ve been lingering, he would’ve been off our [draft] board” (Twitter links via the Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala).

Buffalo will now be active on the free agent market to look for a replacement punter, either amongst current available options or players released during Tuesday’s final round of roster cuts.

Bills P Matt Araiza Accused Of Gang Rape In Civil Lawsuit

AUGUST 26: Araiza will not punt for the Bills during tonight’s preseason finale, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Tim Graham of The Athletic adds that he will not dress at all (Twitter link).

Araiza has issued the following statement: “The facts of the incident are not what they are portrayed in the lawsuit or in the press. I look forward to quickly setting the record straight” (Twitter link via Schefter).

AUGUST 25: A civil lawsuit filed today accuses Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza and two other men associated with the San Diego State University football team of gang raping a 17-year-old girl last year, according to a report from Colleen Shalby and Robert J. Lopez of the Los Angeles Times.

The lawsuit was filed in San Diego County Superior Court. Araiza, who completed his four-year stint with SDSU in 2021, was one of three men named in the complaint. The other men were Zavier Leonard, who is listed on SDSU’s roster as a redshirt freshman, and Nowlin “Pa’a” Ewaliko, who is not currently on the roster. The incident took place at a party in October of 2021, and police were notified the next day.

Kerry Armstrong, who is representing Araiza, called the rape allegations false, saying his investigator spoke to witnesses from the party who contradicted the allegations. No arrests have been made, but detectives recently submitted findings to determine whether they should proceed with charges.

“It’s a shakedown because he’s now with the Buffalo Bills. There is no doubt in my mind,” Armstrong told the Los Angeles Times.

Araiza broke an NCAA record in 2021 after averaging 51.19 yards per punt. Following his junior campaign, the punter declared for the NFL Draft, and he was selected by the Bills in the sixth round.

“We were recently made aware of a civil complaint involving Matt from October 2021,” the Bills said in a statement. “Due to the serious nature of the complaint, we conducted a thorough examination of this matter. As this is an ongoing civil case legal, we will have no other comment at this point.”

The Bills recently committed to the rookie as their starting punter when they released veteran Matt Haack, who has since caught on with the Colts. According to Mike Florio of, the NFL doesn’t have the ability to punish Araiza since the alleged incident took place before he was in the league.