The “Punt God” is on his way back to the NFL.
Matt Araiza, the former Bills punter who Buffalo cut after a 17-year-old California girl accused him of rape in 2021, has been signed by the Kansas City Chiefs after the charges were dropped, according to his agent Joe Linta.
“We are grateful to Brett Veach, coach Reid and the @Chiefs organization for giving Matt this opportunity,” Linta wrote.
Matt has been to hell and back in the last 18 months. He has handled himself with grace
— JL Sports (@JLSports3) February 22, 2024
“I am proud and honored to sign a contract with the @Chiefs,” Araiza said in a statement. “I am thrilled to be able to continue my NFL career. I want to thank my family, who have been my rock and my many friends who have been unwavering in their support. I am excited to begin the next phase of my career with the Super Bowl Champs!”
Araiza’s accuser, identified only as Jane Doe, dropped the former Bill from her lawsuit in 2022. Araiza, who had filed a defamation suit against her, dropped his suit in the summer of 2023.
Araiza will have big shoes to fill. Not only is he joining the defending Super Bowl champs, but he will also be vying to replace Kansas City’s All-Pro punter Tommy Townsend, who is set to hit free agency.
A sixth-round selection of the Bills in the 2022 NFL Draft, Araiza never got to play a down in Buffalo before rape allegations derailed his career. Now, the promising punter who earned the name “Punt God” during a stellar career at San Diego State University will have a chance to make his name known once again. This time, strictly for football.