Free-agent punter Matt Araiza signing with Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs signed free-agent punter Matt Araiza on Thursday, the team announced.

Araiza was originally drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, but he was released before the start of the ’22 regular season after he was accused in a civil lawsuit of participating in the gang rape of a minor during an off-campus party at San Diego State University in 2021.

Prosecutors announced in Dec. 2022 that neither Araiza nor any of his former Aztec teammates who were also accused in the reported assault would be charged. Last year, Araiza was dropped from a lawsuit filed by the alleged victim. Araiza also agreed to dismiss his defamation countersuit against her.

“I am proud and honored to sign a contract with the Chiefs,” Araiza said in a statement on Thursday. “I am thrilled to be able to continue my NFL career. I want to thank my family, who have been my rock and my many friends who have been unwavering in their support.”

The Chiefs, who won their second consecutive Super Bowl earlier this month, could be in need of a new starting punter with veteran Tommy Townsend slated to hit free agency next month.

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