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Matt Araiza: “The facts of the incident are not what they are portrayed”

Mike Florio and Charean Williams analyze next steps for the Bills after rookie punter Matt Araiza was sued for gang rape prior to being drafted, which means the Personal Conduct Policy does not apply.

Bills punter Matt Araiza faces an accusation of rape in a federal civil lawsuit. A criminal investigation regarding the incident reportedly is ongoing.

In the aftermath of the filing of the lawsuit and intense coverage of the allegations, Araiza did not punt for the Bills in Friday night’s preseason game. During the game, Araiza issued a statement through his agent.

“The facts of the incident are not what they are portrayed in the lawsuit or in the press,” Araiza said. “I look forward to quickly setting the record straight.”

He can set the record straight whenever he wants. Although anything he says can be used against him in the civil case or in any potential prosecution, he’s free to share his version of the events whenever he wants. And if it’s the truth, why not shout it from the rooftops?

Araiza needs to do something, soon. Because the incident happened before he was drafted, the NFL can take no action against him. However, he plays one of the most interchangeable positions in football. If the Bills are feeling too much heat for keeping him, it would be easy to find another punter -- especially since the Bills have an offense that likely won’t require a great punter this year.