Bills’ investigation of Matt Araiza didn’t include information from alleged victim’s perspective

USA TODAY Sports

As the Bills deal with the swift and sudden consequences of choosing to keep punter Matt Araiza over Matt Haack despite knowing that Araiza has been accused of rape, important questions are emerging regarding the quality and extent of the team’s investigation.

Via the Associated Press, the attorney representing the alleged victim said that the Bills have not contacted him for details.

Attorney Dan Gilleon said that he informed team counsel Kathryn D’Angelo regarding the situation in late July.

“She seemed like she was concerned,” Gilleon told the AP. “She says she’ll get back to me, and then she never did. I even followed up and said, ‘Hey, you guys haven’t talked to me and called me back like you said you would.’ And they just ignored that, too.”

Multiple reports have indicated that the Bills didn’t know about the allegations when drafting Araiza. The team, however, has not expressly said so. (A team spokesman did not respond to a Friday text message asking that question.) But it’s clear that the Bills knew before deciding to keep Araiza and cut Haack.

Bills coach Sean McDermott decided that Araiza would not punt in Friday’s preseason finale. After the game, McDermott made it clear that the process of gathering information will continue.

It remains to be seen whether that includes speaking to Gilleon. If it doesn’t, the team’s work can be called neither thorough nor complete.

43 responses to “Bills’ investigation of Matt Araiza didn’t include information from alleged victim’s perspective

  1. Not a good look. However, let’s not kid ourselves. A billion dollar business enterprise is never going to willfully communicate with a lawyer for a potential plaintiff in an inevitable lawsuit.

  2. I think an attorney for the alleged victim calling any NFL team trying to keep the accused from employment is horrible and unethical. Until it’s proven in court, ANY AND EVERY American citizen is innocent until proven guilty and has the right of employment w/o anybody trying to get him fired or not hired until he’s proven guilty.

  3. He was the best punter in the draft, maybe the best punter in several drafts, yet he was the 3rd one taken. Other teams knew about this and took him off their boards

  4. Hang on,Cleveland. Buffalo may just beat you out in the “win at all costs” department. Once again,we have a team giving itself a bad look over a guy who may have committed a serious crime against a woman. Why not just cut him and be rid of the problem?

  5. Well, Watson got away with what amounts to a slap on the wrist, followed by the riches contract in NFL history. What a slippery slope this can turn out to be.

  6. Seems like the team is only now dealing with this after being bagged for a sham of an investigation. What kind of investigation doesn’t look into statements from both parties? Good job Buffalo of really looking into something you knew about for a month. If this latest information hadn’t come out he still would have punted last night. Two weeks for the season and it will be interesting to see how this plays out with the team.

  7. So team/business that potentially could get sued by plaintiff, intentionally limits communication with said plaintiff due to potential litigation. And this a a surprise?

  8. They didn’t contact him? We all know that lawyers don’t lie. By saying the Bills never contacted him makes his client look better. They apparently thought there was no substance to the allegations or they would have kept Haack and cut Ariaza. They were aware several weeks before they cut Haack.

  9. These particular reports are becoming very silly.

    There is a logical reason you dont talk directly to the purported victims. Because its very bad look if you dont find the purported victim credible and then the purported victim then does an press release about your investigative interview.

    Interviewing the purported victim is a loose loose proposition for anyone outside of law enforcement.

  10. What?!?!
    That is like saying you didn’t investigate the assassination from Lincoln’s point of view!
    Buffalo is a joke!

    Let’s go, Buffalo Browns!

  11. If it’s a civil case, what motivation would the plaintiff’s attorney have to give out any information that would prevent the defendent from being employed? Isn’t the goal in a civil case to sue for money?

  12. Look at all the Patriots fans commenting. The immediate 180 from prideful organization to bottom dwelling trolls didn’t take long. Yes, this is a bad look for the Bills. It’s also only been a few days and they were clearly unaware of the extent of these allegations. Give them a few days to react before putting them on the same level as your hand job loving, ball deflating, sideline filming, Aaron Hernandez employing organization.

  13. Let’s not go comparing what this guy is alleged to have done with what Watson has admitted doing. Statutory rape. Drugging a woman. Knowingly giving her an STI. Delivering her to be raped by multiple other parties and documenting the crime. If the allegations are true – and he has already tacitly admitted to some of them on a call recorded by the police – he belongs in jail, not in a football field.

  14. contactkylesmith says:
    . . . Yes, this is a bad look for the Bills. It’s also only been a few days and they were clearly unaware of the extent of these allegations. . .

    ———————————————————————It’s been over a month, and they were fully aware of the extent of the allegations.
    The Bills are in total liar mode.

  15. silence speaks volumes for the Jills. How stupid do you have to be to not anticipate that the plaintiff’s attorney will ‘sing like a bird’ to the press about your lack of communication and follow through?

  16. pab08 says:

    August 27, 2022 at 1:56 pm

    Not a good look. However, let’s not kid ourselves. A billion dollar business enterprise is never going to willfully communicate with a lawyer for a potential plaintiff in an inevitable lawsuit
    ———-
    If the billion dollar business was involved or could potentially be involved in the lawsuit youd be correct HOWEVER your kidding yourself to think most billion dollar companies wouldnt have some communication of at least taking the info if a lawyer is telling them(while not even asking for anything from them) that a new low level replacement level employee has done something that will paint them negatively in the future and will potentially harm future earnings

  17. Guilty or innocent he’s probably getting cut. Too easy to find a punter who can be 90% as productive and not have a cloud hanging over the team. Not saying it’s fair that’s just how the NFL works.

  18. erickgreynolds says:

    August 27, 2022 at 2:53 pm

    Let’s not go comparing what this guy is alleged to have done with what Watson has admitted doing. Statutory rape. Drugging a woman. Knowingly giving her an STI. Delivering her to be raped by multiple other parties and documenting the crime. If the allegations are true – and he has already tacitly admitted to some of them on a call recorded by the police – he belongs in jail, not in a football field.
    ————-
    Well you need to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges and your trying to say to do the opposite. Your trying to say compare everything that Araiza has been alleged to ONLY to what Watson admits to which is ridiculous. You either compare what both are alleged to have done or you compare both to what they admit to have done.

  19. jm91rs says:
    August 27, 2022 at 2:00 pm
    He was the best punter in the draft, maybe the best punter in several drafts, yet he was the 3rd one taken. Other teams knew about this and took him off their boards

    ———————————————————————

    He was not the first punter taken because he had zero experience as a holder, this is because he was both the Kicker and Punter on his college team. Being a dependable holder in todays NFL is an essential role for a Punter, and his draft stock took a hit due to his lack of experience.

    His name was not publicly attached to this case until very recently, SDSU did not even publicly acknowledge the investigation until June 3rd, 5 weeks after he was drafted. To think that NFL teams knew about this leading up to the draft is insane.

  20. That was intentional. The Chiefs did this with Kareem Hunt and we know about Goodell’s cover up with Ray Rice.

    Dock the picks now. The cheating has got to stop. You can’t hold some teams to the rules and then ignore others when mentioning “integrity”.

  21. If he’s guilty, put him in jail for 25 years. If she is lying, put her in jail for the same amount of time.

  22. The Bills don’t care about the victim, which is why they didn’t talk to her lawyer. Same for the Browns with Watson’s victims. A rapist punter is no big deal to replace, much easier than a rapist QB.

  23. Probably just waiting until they play the Patriots to cut him. They obviously won’t need him then.

  24. he admitted to raping an underaged girl and giving her a sexually transmitted disease. and the bills knew about it in their research of him. possibly the worst thing you can do as a player short of murder. so where’s all the pitchforks for this guy?

  25. billzondarise says:
    August 27, 2022 at 4:29 pm
    Probably just waiting until they play the Patriots to cut him. They obviously won’t need him then.
    ————————————————————–
    Don’t get too chirpy. The Bills have won what. . . 6 of the last 40 against the Patriots?
    After that sinks in, go check out the Bills’ trophy case. It looks a lot like the Pats’ broom closet.

  26. bradygirl12 says:
    August 27, 2022 at 2:01 pm
    Hang on,Cleveland. Buffalo may just beat you out in the “win at all costs” department. Once again,we have a team giving itself a bad look over a guy who may have committed a serious crime against a woman. Why not just cut him and be rid of the problem?

    ————-

    Keeping a punter is win at all costs? Now I’ve heard it all. Lol

  27. Hang on,Cleveland. Buffalo may just beat you out in the “win at all costs” department. Once again,we have a team giving itself a bad look over a guy who may have committed a serious crime against a woman. Why not just cut him and be rid of the problem?

    My guess is the NFLPa was pushing buffalo to not rush to make a move just yet. I can’t see how the NFLPa and the nfl wouldn’t be part of an investigation into one of its players

  28. Sorry, the lawyer contacts the team, not the police? You have to prove an accusation in a criminal court to get justice. In civil court nothing has to be proved. Just make the people in the jury, the public, feel sorry for you. This allegation is not about justice. It’s about money. Extortion. Well Matt doesn’t have a job, no millions to extort.
    Wake up people. Or just be another lemming.

  29. The Bills, despite everyone crowing about their superior “culture” is a woke organization. The Pegulas, particularly Kim, is ultra woke.

    Araiza was tried, convicted and sentenced by the lying leftist press. He didn’t have a chance against the well-practiced smear avalanche of negativity this powerful force practices on a daily basis.

    Araiza has been formally convicted of nothing. He deserved a day in court before a decision was made. It’s horrible that in America you are now considered guilty unless proven innocent.

  30. The Bills’ lawyer will be job hunting if she did not pass this up the ladder. USD did not notify the police for 8 months. They may be facing a lawsuit as well. He might be looking at a criminal case, as will his accomplices.

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