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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Chiefs Sign Matt Araiza, Former Bills Punter Dismissed for Now-Dropped Rape Allegations

  • Rape allegations that got him dismissed from the Bills in 2022 were dropped in December.
  • Bills selected the San Diego State player in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Matt Araiza
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Araiza signed with the Chiefs, the athlete’s agent posted Thursday on X (formerly known as Twitter).

The punter was released from the Bills in 2022 after he and two San Diego State teammates faced rape allegations. The lawsuit against him was dropped in December, along with the defamation lawsuit he filed against the woman. No money was exchanged in either direction.

“I am just thrilled that Matt is now back in the NFL. He has worked so hard since getting dismissed by the Bills back in August 2022. He never lost faith and hope that he would return to the NFL, and now he has,” Araiza’s defense attorney Kerry Armstrong tells Front Office Sports. “I am very confident that by the time Matt retires, he will own many punting NFL records [just as he did at San Diego State].”

The Bills said they learned about the allegations after the draft in July 2022. The team named the rookie Araiza as its starting punter, then let him go in August, two days after the suit was filed. He never played a regular-season game for the team.

Araiza has been out of the NFL, dealing with the allegations since. Armstrong told FOS in May that “several teams across the NFL” had been in touch with Araiza’s agent. He wasn’t linked to any NFL team throughout the 2023 season.

“We are very excited for Matt and his family,” said Dick Semerdjian, an attorney representing Araiza. “During the time of the civil lawsuit which should have never been filed against him and where he fully was exonerated by a voluntary dismissal of the case, Matt never wavered in his innocence while continuing to work on his kicking and staying in great shape. We knew that one day his time would come to be back in the NFL. We are very excited it is now with the world champion Kansas City Chiefs.”

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