Kansas City Chiefs sign ‘Punt God’ Matt Araiza months after sexual assault lawsuit gets dropped

Matt Araiza
Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills drafted Matt Araiza in 2022, with plans of having him claim the starting punter job following the release of veteran Matt Haack. Just before rosters were cut down from 90 to 53 players, a bombshell lawsuit came out, accusing the 23-year-old of raping a 17-year-old girl back in 2021.

Araiza was released the next day, and he hadn’t gotten a sniff of official interest since. But then, on December 12, Araiza’s accuser dropped the lawsuit, with no criminal charges being filed.

Now, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Kansas City Chiefs have signed Matt Araiza to a contract. With Kansas City’s punter Tommy Townsend scheduled to become a free agent, Araiza has a big opportunity ahead of him, with the chance to help the Chiefs get back to the Super Bowl.

“I am proud and honored to sign a contract with the Chiefs 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!”

Matt Araiza after signing with Kansas City Chiefs

Related: Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl odds 2024

Matt Araiza was once viewed as one of college football’s top punting prospects

matt araiza
Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Coming out of San Diego State, Matt Araiza was viewed as one of, if not the best college football punting prospect in his draft class. While Araiza wasn’t the highest-drafted punter in 2022, he did take home the Ray Guy Award for the nation’s top punter in 2021.

Dubbed the ‘Punt God,’ Araiza broke the NCAA’s punting record, averaging 51.19 yards per punt. The record has since been broken by Ryan Stonehouse. However, that doesn’t take away from Araiza’s remarkable feat.

Araiza had so much success at San Diego State, he decided to forego his senior season, entering the NFL Draft a year early, where he became a sixth-round pick, which isn’t bad for a punter.

Yet, he never got the chance to play in a regular season NFL game. Both the Chiefs and Araiza hope that changes in Week 1 of the 2024 NFL season.

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