New York Jets to work out punter Matt Araiza

May 24 (UPI) -- The New York Jets will try out Matt Araiza on Wednesday, a season after the free agent punter was released by the Buffalo Bills after he was accused of rape in a lawsuit, but not charged.

Sources told ESPN, the New York Post and NFL Draft Diamonds on Wednesday morning that the Jets would try out the punter for a potential roster spot.


Araiza joined the Bills as a sixth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. He was released last August, two days after a lawsuit was filed alleging he was involved in the gang rape of a minor while he was at San Diego State.

The San Diego County District Attorney's Office announced in December that Araiza would not be criminally charged as a result of the lawsuit, which was filed in San Diego. Araiza continued to deny the allegations last week in several TV interviews.


Araiza remains subject to a civil lawsuit related to the incident. A motion hearing is scheduled July 14 at t0he central courthouse in San Diego, according to San Diego County court records. A civil jury trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 20.

Bills general manager Brandon Beane told reporters in August that the team was not aware of allegations against Araiza at the time it selected him in the draft, which was about six months after the alleged incident.

San Diego State announced last week that the former students named in the civil lawsuit are no longer "subject of an active investigation" by the school.

RELATED Chiefs, Chargers, Bills, Cowboys lead NFL's primetime football schedule

Araiza told CBS San Diego last week that he was "confident" he would get another shot in the NFL, but the allegations put a "big pause" on his life.

"There is a very big difference between losing your job for something you did and losing your job for something you didn't do," Araiza said in that interview.

"My name was attached to gang rape by every media outlet in the country, even though there was never a gang rape, there was group sex, and secondly, I was never a part of that."


Araiza, 23, averaged 51.2 yards per punt during his final season with the Aztecs. He averaged 49.8 yards per punt in 2020. The 2021 All-America received the Ray Guy Award that same season as college football's top punter.

He logged an 82-yard punt for the Bills during a preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts just weeks before his release.

The Jets signed veteran punter Thomas Morstead earlier this off-season. Morstead, 37, averaged 46.4 yards per punt last season for the Miami Dolphins. The 14-year veteran averaged 46.5 yards per attempt over his first 221 NFL appearances.

The Jets held organized team activities Monday and Tuesday in Florham Park, N.J. The team will host another workout Thursday at its practice facility.

The Jets will hold mandatory minicamp from June 13 to 15. The team will battle the Cleveland Browns in their first preseason matchup in the annual Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 3 in Canton, Ohio.

Latest Headlines