Chiefs Sign Matt Araiza Two Months After Sexual Assault Lawsuit Dropped

Getty Images/Joshua Bessex
Getty Images/Joshua Bessex

The punter Matt Araiza officially returned to the NFL on Thursday, signing with the Kansas City Chiefs two months after a sexual assault lawsuit against him was dropped.

Araiza’s signing with last year’s Super Bowl champions was announced by his agent, Joe Linta, in a post to X.

“We are grateful to Brett Veach, coach Reid and the @Chiefs organization for giving Matt this opportunity,” he wrote.

Araiza, 23, has been out of the league since his rookie season in 2022, when he was accused of being part of a gang rape of a 17-year-old girl at a Halloween party when he was a student-athlete at San Diego State University. He was promptly dropped by the Buffalo Bills before he ever played in a regular season NFL game.

Araiza denied the claims, and prosecutors declined to file charges against him.

His accuser, identified only as Jane Doe, dropped Araiza from her lawsuit in December after reaching an agreement with the athlete, who pledged to ditch a defamation suit against Doe that he filed in July 2023.

Araiza was a popular punter in college, earning the nickname “The Punt God” when he was drafted by the Bills in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL draft. In a preseason game for the Bills prior to his release, he famously punted a ball 82 yards.

Araiza is expected to compete for the Chiefs’ starting job next season if Tommy Townsend, who was a Super Bowl captain, is re-signed by the team this offseason.

In a statement, Araiza said he’s “thrilled” to get another chance in the NFL.

“I am proud and honored to sign a contract with the Chiefs,” he said. “I am thrilled to be able to continue my NFL career. I want to thank my family, who have been my rock and my many friends who have been unwavering in their support. I am excited to begin the next phase of my career with the Super Bowl Champs!”

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