On Wednesday, the San Diego District Attorney announced that former Bills punter Matt Araiza will not face criminal charges for rape. Araiza has issued a statement expressing an intention to resume playing pro football.
“I am grateful that the District Attorney and the San Diego Police Department have discovered all the facts and found no criminal wrongdoing,” Araiza said in a statement issued by his agent, Joe Linta. “I am excited to continue my NFL career.”
The Bills cut Araiza in late August, after media reports brought the alleged gang rape to light. The Bills explained that Araiza should focus resolving his legal entanglements.
It remains to be seen whether an NFL team is willing to sign him. Araiza remains a defendant in a civil case alleging rape. Even though he faces no NFL discipline because the incident happened before he was drafted, the question becomes whether any team will want to assume a P.R. problem for an interchangeable position like punter.
Some may decide to wait until the civil case is over. Some may not consider him at all. However, it plays out, time will tell.