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Some NFL teams knew about Matt Araiza incident before the draft, without knowing all details

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 General Manager Brandon Beane said on Saturday that he had no idea Matt Araiza had been accused of rape when the Bills drafted Araiza. Beane then added that the league office didn’t know, and that he has reached out to people with other teams who have told him they knew nothing about the accusation, either.

But some NFL teams did know before the draft that Araiza was involved in an off-field incident.

Executives from two different teams told the Associated Press they knew of Araiza’s involvement in an off-field incident before the draft, but neither executive knew the extent of the allegations, that a 17-year-old girl had accused Araiza and two San Diego State teammates of raping her during the 2021 football season. The Associated Press did not name the two executives or the teams they work for.

One question that has not been answered is whether the GMs of the Ravens and Buccaneers, both of whom took punters before the Bills drafted Araiza, knew of the accusation before the draft. Araiza was widely considered the best punter in college football last year, and it was surprising when two punters were drafted ahead of him.

The Bills cut Araiza on Saturday, 48 hours after the rape accusation became public.