Matt Araiza via NewsNation YouTube, screenshot

This week, the Philadelphia Eagles found themselves lacking a punter after releasing Arryn Siposs. As Eagles fans began to worry over this development, a consensus began to grow from the online chatter focusing almost unanimously on one name:  The “Punt God” Matt Araiza.

Matt Araiza

Matt Araiza via Buffalo Bills YouTube

Araiza was dropped faster than a leper by the Buffalo Bills due to allegations of being involved in a brutal gang rape back in college. Since the difficult saga began, which put his personal life and professional ambitions in the toilet, he’s been found innocent of any criminality.

While a civil lawsuit against Araiza persists, he has counter-sued for character defamation, leaving him in a status of legal – and professional – limbo. As the NFL season comes closer to starting, Araiza stands out as a top free-agent punter.

At this point, why shouldn’t the Eagles, with their mighty Super Bowl ambitions, bring Araiza onboard?

If anything, why hasn’t the NFL already offered to put him on any team he wants? Why haven’t the Bills stopped by his house with flowers, open arms, and a loud and very public apology? When does this young man get his second chance?

Let’s step back and remind ourselves of what he went through.


Matt Araiza via WGRZ-TV YouTube

RELATED: Former Bills Punter Matt Araiza Wants His Spot BACK In The NFL As He Reclaims His Good Name

The Court of Public Opinion

Araiza has been navigating a tumultuous period in his career stemming from the serious allegations of involvement in a gang rape during his college years. Despite the backlash both personally and professionally as this young man was put under an intense media spotlight, Araiza has remained consistently hopeful for a renewed NFL career after his good name was cleared.

In 2021, a significant cloud hung over Araiza’s promising future when he, along with two of his former San Diego State University (SDSU) football teammates, were accused of gang-raping a 17-year-old girl at an off-campus party. The accuser, a minor at the time, alleged that she was not only intoxicated but that her drink had been spiked, leading to coerced sexual acts.

These accusations were hefty, enough to cast a long shadow on Araiza’s bright NFL prospects. The Bills responded to the emerging details by releasing Araiza indefinitely, essentially leaving Araiza to the mercy of the court of public opinion in order to save themselves from any potential backlash by keeping him on. The appearance of this move didn’t help the way things were looking at the time for him.

Matt Araiza

Matt Araiza via WGRZ-TV YouTube

RELATED: Prosecutors Confirm Former Buffalo Bills Punter Matt Araiza Was Not Present When Alleged Gang Rape Occurred

As legal proceedings continued, the lines between truth and allegation began to blur. San Diego’s district attorney, Summer Stephan, after intensive investigations, declared that there would be no criminal charges filed against Araiza and his teammates. The decision was based on a severe lack of evidence to support the accusations.

This revelation brought forward Araiza’s claims that he did attend the party, but left before any of the alleged incidents occurred. Further reinforcing this point, a 101-minute audio recording surfaced, showcasing a conversation between Deputy District Attorney Trisha Amador, the accuser, and her attorney. Amador cited multiple witness testimonies suggesting that Araiza was absent from the party during the time of the alleged incident.

Another twist arose regarding the accuser’s age. She was 17 at the time, and questions emerged about whether Araiza and his teammates were aware of this fact. According to Amador, two separate party attendees claimed to have heard the girl declare herself as 18.

Matt Araiza via Buffalo Bills YouTube

What Happens Now?

Despite the exoneration from criminal charges, the ramifications of the lawsuit still weigh heavily on Araiza’s NFL aspirations. His sudden release from the Bills due to the allegations marked a sharp turn in what was shaping up to be an outstanding NFL entry. Selected by the Buffalo Bills in the 2022 NFL Draft’s sixth round, Araiza’s talent and skill had seen him named as the team’s starter during training camp.

The series of events surrounding Araiza have triggered varied reactions from the public and media. Some, including notable figures like The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh and Outkick’s Clay Travis, have taken to platforms like X (formerly known as Twitter,) to voice firmly their concerns about fake and absolutely bogus allegations and the impact they can have on a person’s life and career.

Currently, Araiza is back in his hometown of Pomway, California, dedicating his time to training and holding onto hopes of getting back into the NFL and attempting to move on from this depressing period of his life.

Matt Araiza

Matt Araiza via CBS 8 San Diego YouTube

RELATED: Former NFL Star Antonio Brown Rips Into A Reporter For A Story That He Didn’t Write

Araiza has expressed his desire to return, not only to redeem his image but to prove his worth as an athlete. He has been candid about the challenges lying ahead, especially given his free agent status and the questions teams might have due to his year-long absence.

As Araiza works to rebuild his life and career, the broader conversation about the balance between victims’ rights and the rights of the accused continues to gain momentum, but almost always require that the accused go through absolute hell in order to clear their name and get some degree of normalcy back.

Whether you’re a popular film star like Johnny Depp or an infamous, controversial internet character such as Andrew Tate, everyone deserves a chance to get their lives back together once the dust has settled and the truth is out, once and for all.

Follow Remso at @HeyRemso on X

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