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REVEALED: Two NFL teams KNEW Matt Araiza was involved in an incident before the April draft when the Buffalo Bills signed him… but he was not known to be charged with gang rape of a 17-year-old
- The Buffalo Bills announced on Saturday that they are Matt Araiza . have released
- The 22-year-old rookie gambler has been charged with gang rape of a 17-year-old
- Araiza has maintained his innocence, saying on Friday: ‘I look forward to setting the record straight’
Two NFL teams were aware that Matt Araiza had been involved in an incident leading up to the NFL’s April draw.
That’s according to the Associated Press, which says executives from two different NFL teams knew about the 22-year-old but didn’t know the extent of the allegations.
However, the Buffalo Bills knew nothing about it and signed Araiza in the sixth round of the draft. They released him on Saturday, days after it was revealed that he was charged with involvement in the gang rape of a 17-year-old along with two of his then teammates in the state of San Diego last year.
However, the Bills knew that Araiza was the subject of a police investigation when they released Matt Haack – Araiza’s rival for the team’s punting role – on Monday.
The victim’s lawyer, Dan Gilleon, claimed the accounts ignored the concerns he expressed about Araiza when he contacted the team in late July.
“The Buffalo Bills had no choice but to cut off their young gambler after ruining their response to our claim so badly,” Gilleon said in a statement from The Buffalo News. “They ignored us, (when) I warned that they could be avoided if they just kept their heads in the sand. This is what enablers do.’
Two NFL teams knew Matt Araiza had been involved in an incident prior to the April draft
But The Bills didn’t – they signed Araiza and released him on Saturday after it was alleged that the 22-year-old gang raped a minor.
The Bills began to distance themselves from Araiza as early as Friday, when he was kept away from playing. Instead, he watched the game from an undisclosed location in the stadium rather than from the sidelines alongside his teammates.
On Saturday, Araiza was not present for practice, although the Bills said he was on his roster, while at the same time his No. 19 jersey was no longer available for sale on the Bills’ online store after being listed earlier in the day.
Araiza’s only comment since the lawsuit was filed came in a statement released by his agent during the game on Friday.
“The facts of the incident are not what they are portrayed in the lawsuit or in the press. I look forward to setting the record straight soon,” Araiza said.
In a text to The AP, Araiza’s attorney Kerry Armstrong defended his client by writing: “I’m sure he is very upset and disappointed that his career with the Bills ended not because he played badly, but because of false accusations made.” were voiced. against him by a young lady and her lawyer. I hope he’s back in the NFL soon.”
Bills general manager Brandon Beane said it was unclear who — Araiza or the victim’s lawyer Gilleon — first notified the team of the allegations. As for the decision not to contact Gilleon for more information, Beane said the team’s attorney, Kathryn D’Angelo, “heard what he had to say, and then we began our trial.”
Beane said Araiza’s version of what happened never changed.
Bills General Manager Brandon Beane announced on Saturday that Araiza has been released
‘We’re not perfect. But I can tell you, we just tried to do the right thing,’ Beane said. “In the depths of our hearts I can lay my head down at night, knowing I’ve tried to do the right thing.”
The Bills also notified the NFL of the incident as soon as they were made aware of it, a person familiar with the situation told The AP. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the case, was unsure of the timeline.
The NFL declined to comment except to say it was aware of the matter.