Bills will release Matt Araiza

USA TODAY Sports

The Bills have decided to move on from punter Matt Araiza.

The team has made the decision two days after news emerged regarding a federal lawsuit against Araiza and two others alleging gang rape in October 2021. The alleged victim was 17 at the time.

G.M. Brandon Beane explained the decision to reporters during a Saturday night press conference.

“We don’t know all the facts,” Beane said. “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.”

Beane said that the Bills first learned of the situation in late July, when they were contacted by the alleged victim’s representative.

“We tried to be through and thoughtful and not rush to judgment,” Beane said. “We don’t have the means to put all the facts together. . . . We don’t have access to everything. That’s more important than playing football. We want Matt to focus on that.”

Beane explained that Araiza provided the team with his version of events. Obviously, Araiza’s version conflicts with the version from the alleged victim.

Beane added that the team’s initial statement on the matter should have made it clear that the investigation was not completed. Along the way, however, the Bills chose to release Matt Haack and to keep Araiza. Haack has since joined the Colts, after Rigoberto Sanchez suffered a torn Achilles tendon.

“This is bigger than football,” Beane said repeatedly.

It’s still confusing that the Bills knew about the situation in July but did nothing until the civil suit was filed. A criminal investigation has been occurring. Information was available. It almost seems as if the Bills deliberately decided to lay low and see if it became untenable from a P.R. perspective.

Now that it has, they’re making the only decision that they can, given that Araiza plays a position that allows for a simple replacement. It was clear from the press conference that the situation created a major headache and distraction for the coaching staff and front office over the past two days. Given that Araiza is a punter, they’ve apparently decided it’s just not worth it.

97 responses to “Bills will release Matt Araiza

  1. “We don’t know all the facts,” Beane said. “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.”

    What a croc. Guilty until proven innocent. What is this world coming to?

  2. Information was available.

    —–

    I’m not so sure about that. Sure, they could have attempted to get the accuser’s side and Araiza’s side. But there’s no chance any law enforcement agency would provide them with anything of value during an ongoing investigation. The NFL and NFL teams are not equipped to investigate these matters. They either need to put these players on an exempt list, which isn’t fair if the player is found to be falsely accused (which will inevitably happen) or wait until investigations are complete and judges and juries render verdicts. Goodell’s desire to shoot first and ask questions later isn’t good for the league.

  3. The Bills should be ashamed of themselves, now playing the victim when they knew everything in July.

  4. It took the full weight of public opinion for the Bills to finally do what is right. Shame.

  5. “It’s still confusing that the Bills knew about the situation in July but did nothing until the civil suit was filed.”

    Um, no, it isn’t. We all know that NFL teams and owners will excuse any bad behavior if a player is talented enough. See: DeShaun Watson, dozens of others

  6. There is nothing close to innocent until proven guilty in this country anymore. Anything and everything is tried in the court of public opinion where facts don’t matter, and journalists play judge, jury and executioner.

  7. Thank goodness. A punter is not worth this kind of headache and controversy. Hopefully that’s the last we hear of him.

  8. When was Kraft accused of gang rape?

    If the guy is cleared then many teams will give him a chance. If he is guilty, let him punt for the prison team. BTW I sure would like to hear his version of events where he justifies joining two of his friends in having consensual sex with a 17 year old girl.

  9. “We don’t know all the facts”. They fire him anyway. Let’s just say, for this argument, it was all a lie. An extortion plot like that Birdman hoops player in Miami a few years ago. What happens if say in a week it’s come out that there was nothing to it all but an attempt at a shakedown? Then what? Buffalo says hey we are sorry come on back? I can’t believe that due to fear of social media outrage, (Twitter), the team presumes guilt. Clearly in the NFL, and you’re a punter, you don’t go on paid leave while waiting for the facts to come out.

  10. Well if Araiza eventually does a perp walk it won’t be wearing a Bills uniform the way Aaron Hernandez was.
    Does the fanbase still leave flowers on his grave?

  11. I think some people are missing that the girl was a minor as well. Even if it was consensual, that’s still a problem.

  12. stifleyourselfedith says:
    What a croc. Guilty until proven innocent. What is this world coming to?

    ———–

    How do people not understand that Constitutional rights do not apply to the agreement between you and your employer? It’s 2022, we’ve been at this as a country almost 250 years. Your employer isn’t compelled to keep you around delivering pizzas until your conviction for running over ten kids in a crosswalk on video.

  13. The way the Buffalo Bills hang on to this guy and had their Image take a HIT you would think he was some 1st Round potential franchise QB Pick. The idea that they went anywhere near a |Player in the draft with Rape Allegations is beyond mind-blowing. Imagine tarnishing your IMAGE over a PUNTER, I swear you can’t make this stuff up.

  14. Kraft will immediately sign him and sponsor his off field activities with a massive deal as soon as possible, just like he did with Hernandez.

  15. Watson didn’t rape anyone, or deal with anyone 17 and under. So please it doesn’t even compare.

  16. Shame on Sean McDermott and the Bills front office for knowing about this earlier in the summer.

  17. Will you folks stop with the innocent until proven guilty line. He admitted he had sex with her when she was under age. That’s an admission of a felony from his own mouth. He just disputed the circumstances.

  18. Remember that excitement over an 82 yard punt not too long ago? Only the Bills…

  19. stifleyourselfedith says:
    August 27, 2022 at 8:10 pm
    “We don’t know all the facts,” Beane said. “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.”

    What a croc. Guilty until proven innocent. What is this world coming to?

    2669Rate This
    ————————————–
    What do you mean “what is this world coming to?” Hasn’t it always been this way to an extent? The Salem Witch Trials was the same thing, nobody was proven guilty of being a witch. History is FULL of examples of people who were deemed guilty. Stop acting like it’s some new thing. Take off the rose tinted glasses about the past. Sure, some things may have been better in the past, but this isn’t one of those things.

  20. Information was available.

    —–

    “I’m not so sure about that.” —

    He’s talking about how there was a criminal case and the school was also informed. Even if it wasn’t publicly released, NFL teams should be able to find out if the guy they’re drafting has a criminal case being developed. It seems like some may have so he fell in the draft. Either the Bills didnt research him hard enough or they’re lying and took a chance on the criminal case fizzling out and no civil suit being filed so it never goes public. Now that its public they cut him and say “we neeeever knew” to try to save their image.

  21. It would be totally awesome if the Bills just don’t punt this season. Could change the game forever or it could be a disaster. For sure it would be interesting.

  22. How ever long it took them to respond, at least in the end they made the right decision. Who really dropped the ball in all of this is San Diego, our colleges need to do a much better job of dealing with sexual assaults.

  23. Who was the Giants Punter a few years back who was kicking the snot out of his wife (at the Pro Bowl no less)?
    Reports detailed how NFL Security deliberately hid his wife in an alternative hotel room to keep him from finding her. The Giants knew this and still signed him to a big extension. Then Goodell suspended him for one game, then the details came out and he was booted (ha) effectively ending his career.
    Josh Brown?

  24. Assuming that he avoids jail, this guy will have hard time getting a job a public toilet cleaner.
    And assuming the family wins the civil suit, they’ll have the satisfaction of a “conviction” to make them feel better.
    Because they certainly won’t be seeing any money at all.

  25. Regardless of the truth of the whole matter Matt apparently does not have a fantastic IQ. Under age 18 females, liquor, and who knows where and with whom is not a place to be in an image industry.

  26. I’m so happy Robert Kraft is an owner and didn’t have to deal with this.

    _____________________________________________

    As a Bostonian and new englander, you make us look STUPID. HE DID have to deal with crazy junk like this. in 2013 there was this TE we had who you know KILLED SOMEONE. Then a lesser known case occurred in 1996. I was 10 at the time, and we drafted a kid from Nebraska i believe. He was accused of domestic violence, and MYRA KRAFT told Mr. Kraft and Parcells to release him, we are not running a criminal empire.

  27. What he’s accused of is horrible and if found guilty he needs to go to jail, but innocent until proven guilty is a cornerstone of the justice system.

  28. Definitely conflicted about this, but hey let’s just ruin a person because, you know.

  29. All these people screaming innocent until proven guilty yes that is true in a court of law. The NFL is not a court of law the NFL can cut or sign anyone at any time they want. There is nothing that says they have to keep him on the roster if he’s been accused of a crime. Now if he’s proven innocent then later a team can come back and sign him as a matter of fact a team could sign him right now and there’s nothing saying they can’t the bills made this decision on their own

  30. “There is nothing close to innocent until proven guilty in this country anymore. Anything and everything is tried in the court of public opinion where facts don’t matter, and journalists play judge, jury and executioner.”

    Oh, this isn’t punishment for being guilty. He’ll get his chance at court and if he IS found guilty, he’ll face real consequences. This is just for looking guilty as hell.

  31. stifleyourselfedith says:
    August 27, 2022 at 8:10 pm
    What a croc. Guilty until proven innocent. What is this world coming to?
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    He may be innocent, who knows. That doesn’t mean the Bills owe him a job. The problems of an accused don’t make those problems everyone else’s.

  32. Maybe now the DA should be looked at for not even attempting to prosecute. At least take the mess to a grand jury to make the call. That’s what they would do on LAW & ORDER!

  33. touchback6 says:
    August 27, 2022 at 8:07 pm
    I’m so happy Robert Kraft is an owner and didn’t have to deal with this.

    ————–

    He would have been too busy down in Florida, not far from Cape Canaveral, getting the finishing touches his own rocket being launched to know what was going on.

  34. Yet he traveled with the team yesterday and stood on that sideline.

    Mortifying. Despicable leadership. They lied and got caught, stone cold.

  35. broughtupbrowns says:
    August 27, 2022 at 8:36 pm
    Watson didn’t rape anyone, or deal with anyone 17 and under. So please it doesn’t even compare

    ———

    No but Ben did. And Steelers fans want him in the HoF.

  36. loser148 says:
    August 27, 2022 at 8:16 pm
    There is nothing close to innocent until proven guilty in this country anymore. Anything and everything is tried in the court of public opinion where facts don’t matter, and journalists play judge, jury and executioner.
    ++++++++++
    Jesus H Christ, that is the court of law, not for privately owned companies. If there were an employee at any company that brought this much heat to a company they would fire them on the spot. Has nothing to do with innocence or guilt. Its not like he is sitting in jail like some other low level offenders who cant post bail.

  37. To think that teams didn’t know about this is laughable. He was hyped as some kind of revolutionary punter and general consensus was he would be drafted much higher than he was. Then two punters actually come off the board before him? They knew. They all knew.

  38. The Analytical Kid says:
    August 27, 2022 at 9:35 pm
    touchback6 says:
    August 27, 2022 at 8:07 pm
    I’m so happy Robert Kraft is an owner and didn’t have to deal with this.

    ————–

    He would have been too busy down in Florida, not far from Cape Canaveral, getting the finishing touches his own rocket being launched to know what was going on.

    32Rate This

    ——————

    The fact you care about an 80 year old man having sex (or not), is absolutely creepy. Bizarre is more like it.

    And, that’s on top of how on earth gang rape/statutpry rape equates to consensual sex between 2 adults.

    The dumbing down of America continues.

  39. The Analytical Kid says:
    August 27, 2022 at 9:35 pm
    touchback6 says:
    August 27, 2022 at 8:07 pm
    I’m so happy Robert Kraft is an owner and didn’t have to deal with this.

    ————–

    He would have been too busy down in Florida, not far from Cape Canaveral, getting the finishing touches his own rocket being launched to know what was going on.

    ——————
    That’s classic!!!

  40. The fact you care about an 80 year old man having sex (or not), is absolutely creepy. Bizarre is more like it.

    ———————

    No the fact that a 80 year old man would break the law… consensual or not… he’s a creep just like Watson and this bozo

  41. I don’t know if the kid is guilty or innocent, but all of you saying that he’s already admitted to a felony need to either (1) stop pretending to be lawyers, or (2) go back to law school.

    Under CA law, a defendant has a complete defense to statutory rape if the defendant “reasonably and actually believed” the alleged victim was 18 or older. In determining if a defendant held a reasonable belief, juries can consider the circumstances under which the parties met. For example, if the parties met at a party intended for adults (e.g., a college party) and for which minors are not generally allowed, a jury could find the defendant has a complete defense.

    So, unless Araiza has admitted to engaging in a sexual act with the girl AND knowing, at the time, she was a a minor, he’s not admitted to any crime, let alone a felony.

    I have no inside information, but if it is true that she went to the hospital/police the day after the alleged rapes, there should have been a rape kit/exam completed and DNA evidence gathered. I find it difficult to understand why no charges have been filed if the results of the rape kit/exam confirmed her account of the events.

  42. Wait a minute. I thought that you guaranteed $230 million to football players who are also sexual predators? The Bills clearly don’t know what they are doing.

  43. The reactions here are truly pathetic. Very, very sad.

    Because the team wanted to take more than 60 seconds for truth & fairness, they’re still being villified.

    This board is disgusting at times. Completely.

  44. Kraft was abusing women brought to this country (by their own will or not)and many of them disappear after the cash box closes. BTW, you would be the expert on “dumbing down “.

  45. Judging by the responses on this thread, it’s apparent that a good many of you have never served on jury duty. And that’s a good thing.

  46. I wish that “alleged” was even remotely as definitive or conclusive as “released.”

  47. I don’t like the fact that someone can lose his job over unproven allegations in a civil lawsuit.

  48. If he’s guilty, throw him in jail for 25 years. If she’s lying, throw her in jail for 25 years.

  49. Jimmypinthe416 says:
    August 27, 2022 at 8:13 pm

    It took less time than it took the pats to release a serial murderer.
    =================================

    Pats released Hernandez after he was wanted by the cops the same day. Bills waited a few days after the lawsuit when they knew before the draft.

  50. “What a croc. Guilty until proven innocent. What is this world coming to?”

    That is the standard of the criminal justice system, not a private business. The Bills can cut whoever they want whenever they want for whatever reasons they want.

  51. george1859 says:
    August 27, 2022 at 8:11 pm
    Beane will always do the right thing.

    Unless there’s 13 seconds left in a playoff game!!! baaahahahahahaha

  52. thebeeper134 says:
    August 27, 2022 at 8:28 pm
    This will all be forgotten when the hoist the Lombardi Trophy in February

    Good 1!!! needed that laugh today, thank you!

  53. They’d be riding it out waiting on the details if he was a QB, WO, Pass rusher or star. Being a punter made this easy for the bills.

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