Chiefs offer Araiza NFL lifeline

MATT Araiza is being given a second chance in the National Football League, after signing with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The punter was originally selected in the 2022 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, but was released before playing a game for the team.

Araiza was cut by Buffalo in the summer of 2022, after being named in an alleged rape case against a 17-year-old girl – claims that have since been dropped.

The girl, identified in the lawsuit as Jane Doe, dropped Araiza from the lawsuit filed in August 2022, and Araiza agreed to dismiss a defamation suit against Doe filed in July 2023.

“I am thrilled to be able to continue my NFL career,” Araiza said in a statement.

“I want to thank my family, who have been my rock and my many friends who have been unwavering in their support. I am proud and honoured to sign a contract with the Chiefs.

“I am excited to begin the next phase of my career with the Super Bowl champions.”

Kansas City’s punter Tommy Townsend is expected to be a free agent next month, so the move represents a genuine shot for Araiza to play in the NFL.

Araiza earned the nickname ‘Punt God’ for his high, lengthy kicks at San Diego State University and set an NCAA record with a 51.19-yard punting average.

The Chiefs have won the last two Super Bowl titles, the most recent of which came after a 25-22 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in February 2024.