New Chiefs P Matt Araiza Breaks Silence on Signing With Super Bowl Champions - Sport News

New Chiefs P Matt Araiza Breaks Silence on Signing With Super Bowl Champions

Punter Matt Araiza, who signed with the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday, February 22, reacted to joining the Chiefs via his agency, JL Sports.

“I am proud and honored to sign a contract with the @Chiefs. I am thrilled to be able to continue my NFL career,” Araiza said via a post on X, formerly Twitter. “I want to thank my family, who have been my rock and my many friends who have been unwavering in their support. I am excited to begin the next phase of my career with the Super Bowl Champs!”

Araiza signing with the Chiefs means that punter Tommy Townsend, who joined Kansas City as an undrafted free agent in 2020 and was an All-Pro in 2022, won’t re-sign with the team and instead will take to free agency.

Chiefs Kingdom must now bid farewell to a player who made key contributions on special teams during Kansas City’s four most recent Super Bowl runs.

Townsend holds the franchise records for the highest punting average in a single season (50.42), the highest net punting average in a single season (45.58), and the high punt average for a single game (60.8) according to the Chiefs website.

Matt Araiza an All-Time Great College Punter

Araiza is entering the Chiefs’ building with his fair share of records as well.

During his junior season at San Diego State, Araiza set NCAA FBS records in punt average (51.19), 60-yard punts (18), 50-yard punts (39), and likely 70-yard punts (6) in a season, according to the SDSU athletics website. He led the nation in all meaningful punt statistics and was clearly one of the best punters that college football has ever seen.

So why was one of college football’s best-ever punters available this early in the offseason? Because Araiza, after being drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, had his NFL career abruptly put on hold after a woman filed a lawsuit against Araiza and four other former SDSU football players alleging that she was raped by the players in 2021. Araiza was cut by the Bills on August 22, 2022 as a result.

But Araiza was dropped from the lawsuit in December 2023 and his attorney stated he “won’t pay any money to the woman and reserves the right to sue her attorney for harm caused,” according to a statement obtained by AP News. That allowed Araiza to rekindle his NFL career.

Instead of re-signing Townsend, the Chiefs are taking a chance on Araiza, who has historic upside but needs to re-prove himself, which likely kept his contract demands low (we will have to wait to see the terms of the deal to see if this is the case).

Matt Araiza is Ready to Re-Prove His Worth

“When I was cut, I was an NFL starter, had just beat out an NFL veteran. I was on a four-year contract and that wont be handed back to me,” Araiza said at a news conference following him being dropped from the lawsuit.

“No one in the NFL is going to go, ‘Here’s the job that you once had,’ so working to regain where I was at is my primary goal right now,” he continued. “I’m confident that I will be able to regain my NFL career — whenever that is. I believe it’s more of a when, not an if.”

Araiza now has the opportunity to re-live up to the “Punt God” nickname and do it with the back-to-back Super Bowl champions.

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