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#pounditTuesday, February 7, 2023

Bills explain decision to cut Matt Araiza amid allegations

Matt Araiza punts the ball

Bills rookie punter Matt Araiza sends a kick downfield on the opening day of the Buffalo Bills training camp at St. John Fisher University in Rochester Sunday, July 24, 2022. Photo Credit: Shawn Dowd / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Buffalo Bills on Saturday decided to cut Matt Araiza, days after the punter was accused of having a role in a gang-rape of a 17-year-old girl in October 2021.

The Bills selected Araiza in the sixth round of April’s NFL Draft out of San Diego State. The team cut veteran punter Matt Haack on Monday, which made Araiza the team’s starting punter. Three days later, Araiza was named in a civil lawsuit filed by a woman who alleges Araiza and two other members of the 2021 San Diego State football team were part of a gang rape she was the victim of at an off-campus party in October.

Araiza, 22, is accused of having sex with the then-17-year-old and then taking her to a bedroom where he put her face down on a bed and others began having sex with her.

The Bills were apparently aware of the allegation as recently as July. It wasn’t until the civil suit was filed that they cut the former Ray Guy Award winner.

“This afternoon, we decided that this was the best thing,” GM Brandon Beane said. “Our culture here is more important than winning football games.”

With Araiza off the roster, the Bills are now looking for a new punter. They already have begun making plans to bring in potential candidates.

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