Matt Araiza expresses gratitude to prosecutors for his exoneration

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The allegations against former Bills punter Matt Araiza resulted in both a criminal investigation and a civil lawsuit. Now that an account has emerged regarding the assessment of the evidence by prosecutors, Araiza has expressed gratitude for the manner in which the facts have come out.

“I am aware that the facts of this case have been made public,” Araiza said in a statement provided to PFT on Tuesday night.  “I am deeply gratified for the thorough work of the DA’s office in San Diego and for all the witnesses that were willing to come forward and tell the truth.  I am thankful that the facts of this case as provided by the witnesses will prove that what I have been saying from the beginning is, in fact, the truth.

“I can only hope that now people will assess me on the facts and not what was falsely claimed in both the civil suit and in the press.

“I am beyond thankful for the unwavering support of both my family and friends.  They have been a rock in what has been a very dark eight months for me.  However, now that the truth is out, I am amazed by the thousands of emails and tweets supporting me.  It has truly been a blessing to know so many people have now judged me by the facts.”

The announcement that Araiza would not face criminal charges first was made in December. Recent reporting has helped explain the decision, via a conclusion by prosecutors that Araiza was not present at the time an alleged gang rape occurred.

He remains a free agent, eligible to sign with any team. Regardless of any potential civil liability, Araiza would face no punishment under the Personal Conduct Policy for alleged behavior occurring before he was drafted by the Bills last April.

The question now becomes whether the exoneration of Araiza on criminal charges, and the recent publication of the specific facts supporting the decision, will result in a team offering him a roster spot or, at a minimum, a tryout.

When the Bills released him last August, G.M. Brandon 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.”

With the situation resolved, as far as the criminal justice system is concerned, there is no impediment to the Bills or anyone else welcoming him back to the NFL — but for the civil case. Again, any potential outcome of the civil litigation would not impact his eligibility to hold an NFL roster spot or to play in NFL games.

Although the circumstances are very different, Araiza’s legal situation is no different than Eagles defensive tackle Jalen Carter‘s. Both face potential civil liability, but no actual punishment from the league.

Ultimately, that didn’t keep Carter from becoming the ninth overall pick in the 2023 draft.

54 responses to “Matt Araiza expresses gratitude to prosecutors for his exoneration

  1. Huge leg + thin air in Denver- Broncos terrible recent punters= perfect landing spot.

    Regardless I hope he gets a real shot somewhere. That was some Duke Lacrosse- level character defamation

    Good on the prosecutors for doing the actual work to find out what happened instead destroying a guys life because he was ‘famous’

  2. Whoever signs him better be ready to make him their full time punter. The mob will demand it.

  3. And everyone on here was absolutely VILIFYING this young man with no due process or evidence. The damage is done to him forever. No matter what he does or where he goes, he can’t get the time, money, or trauma from this loss and false accusation back. You all can put your torches and pitchforks away and get ready to discredit the next person, while this man has to live with a lost career, income, and reputation.

  4. Let’s be honest here. Carter took responsibility immediately and Araiza didn’t take any responsibility for anything and didn’t even show any sympathy for the victim. He’s privileged to act that way, and Carter isn’t. Carter knows he’s automatically guilty no matter what.

  5. So this guy lost a career over something that happened somewhere that he wasn’t even at.

    This is our America folks, drink it in and then vomit on your shoes

  6. Shouldn’t that woman who lied about the guy be prosecuted? Are people simply allowed to lie, to ruin lives? We all know Matt’s name now, I highly doubt we will ever know hers.

  7. As if we needed another reason why the NFL and/or their clubs shouldn’t make knee-jerk reactions and cut or suspend players based on mere allegations. Some evidence should be required to play with a guys reputation and career.

  8. One wonders how long before we learn to avoid sensationalism when allegations are recklessly lobbed against individuals, particularly wealthy athletes. The fact that there are no consequences for false and malicious accusations against them incentivizes some shady characters to try to game the system. I am happy for the young man. God will take care of him.

  9. A lot of talking head owe this kid and the Buffalo Bills a big apology.

  10. The statement that both eyewitness testimony and video evidence clears him of even being near the scene of the crime makes it a whole lot easier to believe him at his word.
    What a terrible event for everybody involved and i hope that young woman is doing well.

  11. Who is it that is suing him? Are there people who claim he did it and others who claim he didn’t? Are there other individuals who are being charged?

  12. Said it at the time that maybe the media and the cancel mob should reserve judgement until all the facts come out. But no, the salacious slander this poor guy dealt with and rush to judgement ruled the day. In fact, media types seem to think this is the new normal. Guilty until proven innocent, as long as certain stereotypes are maintained in the process, of course. Hey, this guy may not get a fair chance now, but at least everyone who virtue signaled got to feel good in the moment, right? PATHETIC……

  13. So the false and wreckless allegations ruins a man reputation and destroys his career? Oh Bubba, big lawsuit coming!

  14. I’d really like to see him get another chance now that he’s in the clear. They didn’t call him the’Punt God’ for nothing. This guy really has the potential to be the next Ray Guy. I suspect another team will sign him

  15. Not saying Araiza or Carter should be punished but how did the NFL get away with punishing Terrell Pryor back in the day for trading his pants for a tattoo if they can’t punish player for college transgressions?

  16. They were so quick to give Matt the boot, but Carter becomes a top 10 pick with actual facts about the case. There’s no middle ground with Carter like there was with Matt.

  17. If I’m Howie Roseman, I contact this kids agent immediately. Punter is the only weakness on the Eagles right now.

  18. Great, so where does he go to get his reputation and name restored not to mention the income that was lost? Sure he’ll likely get a “second chance” to make an NFL roster, but his first chance should have NEVER been taken from him!
    Professional athletes, even punters, have limited windows of opportunity, and a full year was unjustly taken from him because the “court of public opinion” found him guilty on social media instead of waiting for the facts of the case to be exposed.

  19. Bad situation for Matt. The money grabbing woman should be countersued to at the very least, pay restitution for legal fees and lost wages. Maybe then, people will think twice about filing frivolous lawsuits.

  20. The court of public opinion convicted him on social media before all the facts of the case came to light and as a result a year of the kid’s life was unjustly taken from him.
    How does he get his name,income and year back after that? Sure, he’ll get a second chance but he should have never lost his first!

  21. This might not have unfolded so poorly for Araiza had both SDSU & the SDPD not tried to cover this entire thing up in order to protect the school.

  22. Wait, media and social media already convicted him. Just because he wasn’t even present shouldn’t mean he gets off. Send the mob back after him!

    I swear if anything like that ever happens to me I’m looking into every single legal option to prosecute and be paid.

  23. If no NFL team picks The Punt God up, then nobody in the league trusts our judicial process. He is a freak of a punter that any team would love to have…..if they can get by these accusations.

  24. Wrecked this guys life for nothing. There should be accountability. They went after him because his name was the biggest, facts be damned.

  25. What a shame for this kid. His accuser should receive whatever punishment he would’ve received if he was proven to be guilty.

  26. There. Now what say you who were quick to judge this man without the facts. Unfortunately, too many of you won’t learn to reserve judgement because YOU don’t know but you think its okay to voice such a strong opinion without knowledge.

  27. “Ultimately, that didn’t keep Carter from becoming the ninth overall pick in the 2023 draft.”

    Yeah that’s because Carter was not involved with an alleged rape. He was only at the scene on the death of two people. No big deal, right?

  28. Hard to imagine a civil suit has much merit if evidence shows Araiza wasn’t present. Falsely accused and lost a year of his life battling in court. Hopefully he can resume/begin his NFL career, now.

  29. If film shows he wasn’t involved then why not let him play?
    If a mistake was made, then rectify it and let him back.

    He should be removed from the civil case

  30. How many people on here will admit they judged Araiza as guilty right when you first heard about the story? Who has the courage to admit they were wrong?

  31. Some NFL team is going to do the right thing and will be rewarded with a future all-pro punter. The guy is an amazing punter and innocent of all charges.
    Sign him up Howie!

  32. Seems like his attorney could file a motion to have him removed from the civil case due to new evidence.

  33. Sorry it took so long, Matt. Go about your business.

    And not the same as with Carter who killed Devin Willock and Chandler LeCroy. They don’t get their lives back.

  34. How is Carter responsible for anything? Racing is against the law but the driver and employee of the team was responsible for the deaths…the team and her actions are responsible not Jalen Carter. Was he wrong, yes. Responsible..No. that’s why he wasn’t charged with any part of the deaths. Tragic as it is SHE was the adult and employee of the team. Everyb6wsnts to sue. The families of the deceased need to know that they ALL were wrong and ALL of them made bad decisions…

  35. theoriginalsurferbob says:
    May 10, 2023 at 12:26 am
    Shouldn’t that woman who lied about the guy be prosecuted? Are people simply allowed to lie, to ruin lives? We all know Matt’s name now, I highly doubt we will ever know hers.
    ______________

    What good would it possibly do for you to know her name?

  36. patsfan4lifedynasty says:
    May 10, 2023 at 4:49 am
    We have a very flawed legal system.
    ____________

    How so? The prosecutors investigated the case and found no basis for charges. That is exactly how the system is supposed to work.

  37. patsfan4lifedynasty says:
    May 10, 2023 at 4:49 am
    We have a very flawed legal system.
    ____________

    How so? The prosecutors investigated the case and found no basis for charges. That is exactly how the system is supposed to work.

    Because the process is the punishment. Turns out, he wasn’t even at the party and was dragged through the mud for over a year. He lost out an his NFL opportunity and people have been calling him a rapist for over a year. How much money has he lost in legal fees for something he didn’t do? This story will follow him for the rest of his life and he was in no way involved.

  38. browns023 says:
    May 10, 2023 at 9:53 am
    patsfan4lifedynasty says:
    May 10, 2023 at 4:49 am
    We have a very flawed legal system.
    ____________

    How so? The prosecutors investigated the case and found no basis for charges. That is exactly how the system is supposed to work.

    Because the process is the punishment. Turns out, he wasn’t even at the party and was dragged through the mud for over a year. He lost out an his NFL opportunity and people have been calling him a rapist for over a year. How much money has he lost in legal fees for something he didn’t do? This story will follow him for the rest of his life and he was in no way involved.
    ________________

    Whatever process you are referring to has nothing to do with the legal system. The legal system did not call him a rapist, nor did it drag his name through the mud. Instead, it proceeded quietly to investigate the matter and find no basis for charges.

  39. icantstandwhitecastleanymore says:
    May 10, 2023 at 7:14 am
    “Ultimately, that didn’t keep Carter from becoming the ninth overall pick in the 2023 draft.”

    Yeah that’s because Carter was not involved with an alleged rape. He was only at the scene on the death of two people. No big deal, right?

    The difference is Carter’s legal issues has been resolved. He was given his punishment (which won’t keep him away from the team). Araiza was released because the Bills and the rest of the NFL had no idea what his future was or hold long it will take to resolve. No team will occupy a roster spot for an unproven rookie punter while he gets his legal issues resolved.

  40. graysobr says:
    May 9, 2023 at 11:55 pm
    Let’s be honest here. Carter took responsibility immediately and Araiza didn’t take any responsibility for anything and didn’t even show any sympathy for the victim.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    How much sympathy would you have if someone publicly accused you of a crime and you weren’t even there? And what responsibility do you need to take if you’ve done nothing wrong? I have no idea if Araiza is a good dude or a bad dude, but it does seem that he should still be punting for the Bills and I’ve said it 10 times, if the Bengals had picked him up mid year when some of his innocence started trickling out, they probably would have at least gotten to OT against the chiefs in the AFCCG. A good punter does matter and he’s a very good punter and likely not a rapist.

  41. This is not a case of not guilty. this is a case of proven innocent by evidence.

  42. He should sue the accuser, the Bills, and every media mouthpiece who defamed him.

  43. “…I am amazed by the thousands of emails and tweets supporting me.”

    I hope the first one was from Brandon Beane.

  44. He damn well better get a shot. Not only wasn’t he convicted or even charged with anything, but the prosecutor went ahead and *proved his innocence.* There is no way a civil claim is going to hold up with that kind of a statement from that source. There is absolutely no justification to withhold an employment offer.

  45. How about this:
    Falsely accusing someone subjects you to the same charges you are falsely alleging.
    Everyone cool with that?

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