The Buffalo Bills released rookie punter Matt Araiza on Saturday, two days after Araiza and two others were accused in a civil lawsuit of participating in a 2021 gang-rape of a minor while he was a student-athlete at San Diego State.
“We don’t know all the facts,” said Bills general manager Brandon Beane. “At this time, we think it’s the best move for everyone to move on from Matt and let him take care of this situation and focus on that.”
Araiza and two of his former teammates at SDSU — Zavier Leonard and Nowlin “Pa’a” Ewaliko — were all accused in the lawsuit. No arrests have been made and San Diego Police have not publicly identified any suspects. Araiza has denied the allegations.
Araiza, whom the Bills drafted in the sixth round earlier this year, did not punt in the team’s preseason finale Friday night against the Carolina Panthers. Backup quarterback Matt Barkley served as punter in his absence. Araiza traveled with the team and was seen at the stadium before the game. Bills coach Sean McDermott said Friday that the team had “work to do” to determine Araiza’s status with the organization.
Earlier in camp, the Bills cut veteran Matt Haack, who was released and has since signed with the Indianapolis Colts.