The Chiefs Are Signing “Punt God” Matt Araiza, Whose NFL Career Was Derailed By False Sexual Assault Allegations

Matt Araiza
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The Kansas City Chiefs just got a big leg up on the competition in their quest for a Super Bowl three-peat, signing former Buffalo Bills sixth-round pick Matt Araiza to be their new punter on Thursday.

Coming out of San Diego State, Araiza was nicknamed “Punt God” for his booming kicks, and promptly delivered on that promise as soon as the preseason.

Unfortunately, some harrowing accusations surfaced about Araiza during his time in college, as he was named in a civil lawsuit that accused him and two other SDSU players of gang r*pe at an off-campus party.

Given the severity of said accusations and the fact that it was going to take a while for Araiza to clear his name if they were proven untrue, the Bills released him. That was back before the 2022 NFL season kicked off; Araiza hadn’t found a landing spot until today.

Part of the reason the Chiefs can feel confident in signing the 23-year-old now is because the accusations against Araiza were proven to be unequivocally false. The girl who accused Araiza and others of the aforementioned crime actually had a brief, consensual encounter with Araiza on the side of the house shortly after arriving at the party. Then, she was witnessed bragging to friends about it.

Here’s a direct quote from deputy district attorney Trisha Amador on the accuser, per Yahoo Sports:

“You were approaching men at the party saying, ‘I want you to [expletive] me, and if you don’t [expletive] me, you’re a [expletive].”

Hence the tone of this announcement from Araiza’s agency:

I can’t believe that NFL teams weren’t lining up to sign Araiza the minute he was exonerated. I remember praying that my Bengals would use a late-round pick on either him or Ryan Stonehouse in the 2022 draft, because they had two of the strongest legs I’d ever seen from a punter. Alas, Stonehouse is with the Titans, and Araiza, as his agency said, went to hell and back.

Kansas City’s tenured punter, Tommy Townsend, is hitting free agency. Townsend is a solid punter in his own right who led the NFL in net yards per punt (45.6) during the 2022 campaign. His services will be highly coveted. Not like the Chiefs can’t afford to pay a little more for a punter, but GM Brett Veach pounced on the opportunity to get a generational talent in Araiza.

What’s more, Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker doesn’t necessarily have to do kickoffs anymore now that Araiza is in the fold. Araiza served as San Diego State’s placekicker, too, although he struggled in that area during his final collegiate season, hitting just 18 of 28 attempts. Nevertheless, Araiza doubles as a potential kicker insurance in case Butker has a tight hammy or something. Kansas City wouldn’t necessarily have to go out and sign somebody else to burn an extra roster spot.

Big ups to Matt Araiza for hanging in there. What a waking nightmare life must’ve been for a while. A reminder of what his family had to deal with in the wake of the accusations, which also did an injustice to actual victims.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock