Matt Araiza still can’t get a second chance
The Bills abruptly dumped punter Matt Araiza after he was sued for gang rape. He has since been exonerated, by the criminal authorities.
Some teams have privately indicated that Araiza’s phone will ring, if/when a need arises. But that’s clearly not universal. The Steelers, whose punter currently has a hamstring injury, dusted off Brad Wing as the emergency option. Not Araiza.
And, yes, he plays one of the most interchangeable positions in football. But he’s not the average punter. He has a very strong leg.
The fact that Wing got back in after six years shows that, eventually, Araiza likely will get another chance. The passage of time, the resolution of the still-pending civil lawsuit, and/or the defamation lawsuit Araiza has vowed to file against his accuser’s lawyer will help.
For now, the problem is that most teams don’t want punters or kickers who come with baggage, even if the baggage is embellished, exaggerated, or even outright fabricated.