Jets workout controversial punter Matt Araiza

Jets work out controversial punter Matt Araiza
FILE – Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza walks on the sideline during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Orchard Park, N.Y., on Aug. 13, 2022. The Buffalo Bills cut Araiza from the team on Saturday, Aug. 27, two days after a lawsuit was filed alleging the player and two college teammates gang-raped a teenager last fall. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File)
AP Photos

The New York Jets have continued to look to improve their roster following the NFL Draft by adding selective free agents that fit their needs. Their most recent workout comes with plenty of baggage. 

New York worked out controversial punter Matt Araiza on Wednesday morning, according to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN. The Jets currently have Thomas Morstead as the lone punter on the roster. 

Araiza was once considered one of the best punting prospects in recent years. Originally drafted in the sixth round by the Buffalo Bills in 2022 after setting the NCAA record for average punt yardage at San Diego State, Araiza was christened the “punt god” due to winning the Ray Guy award in his junior season. 

However, his playing career has been on hold since he was named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit in which he and two other SDSU were accused of gang rape of a minor at a party on campus in 2021. In the lawsuit, the woman, who was a high school senior at the time, said she had been drinking when she arrived at the party and that “Araiza, who lived at the home [where the party was], gave her a drink. She believes the drink ‘not only contained alcohol but other intoxicating substances.”

After being released by the Bills following the final preseason game in 2022, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office did not file criminal charges against Araiza or his teammates.

Since the allegations were brought forth, Araiza and his teammates have maintained their innocence. A report from Yahoo Sports later found that the District Attorney stated that Araiza was not at the party at the time of the accusations and had left early.

However, the civil case remains ongoing. 

Araiza has since responded to the report saying, “I am grateful that the District Attorney and the San Diego Police Department have discovered all the facts and found no criminal wrongdoing. I am excited to continue my NFL career.”

The NFL has not responded to the accusations or the current civil suit surrounding Araiza or the Jets’ decision to have him in New York for a visit.

This is the first known workout for Araiza with an NFL team since being released by the Bills last season. 

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