The NFL world was shocked on Thursday when news broke that current Buffalo Bills rookie punter Matt Araiza was accused of gang-raping a 17-year-old girl at an off-campus party in 2021. Despite the civil lawsuit, Araiza is still on the Bills’ active roster, and it looks like there’s a chance it stays that way.
While the NFL recently agreed on an 11-game suspension for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson following 24 sexual misconduct allegations, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the NFL is powerless to give Araiza any sort of punishment because the alleged incident happened before he was drafted by the Bills.
“The Personal Conduct Policy does not encompass alleged misconduct occurring before a player is drafted,” Florio wrote. “At most, the incident would be used against him for enhanced or expired discipline, if he violates the policy once he’s in the NFL.”
While the NFL can’t punish Araiza, the Bills could choose to release the rookie punter in response to these allegations. However, the team doesn’t seem to have any plans to do that. Buffalo named Araiza its starting punter on Monday and he will reportedly play in the Bills’ final preseason game against the Carolina Panthers.
So it appears Araiza will receive no punishment from either the league or the Bills. And the NFL world is unimpressed.
See, NFL teams DO do their due diligence.
They just don't care. https://t.co/mGJEWEkNDZ
— John Whiticar (@Whiticar) August 26, 2022
Wait so the Bills knew about rape accusations against
one of their players….and then they cut THE OTHER GUY AT HIS POSITION ON THE ROSTER?
Dear god. https://t.co/D3QTv64VKJ
— Andrew Goldstein (@AndyGold24) August 26, 2022
Hard to believe the Bills will let their franchise and fanbase get dragged for this for any period of time when they know they'll ultimately cut him. https://t.co/ji1xDJwBC9
— Tony Gervino (@microtony) August 26, 2022
Another nonsensical supposed limitation on the NFL’s jurisdiction. And tell this to Terrelle Pryor who the NFL managed to suspend for 5 games to quasi enforce an NCAA punishment that was absurd in the 1st place. https://t.co/iPV1TfT3BF
— Adam Copeland (@exiledclevelndr) August 26, 2022
Sports teams do not care about anything but winning. https://t.co/hmeGuMxXI4
— Kate Feldman (@kateefeldman) August 26, 2022
Araiza will likely be on the field when the Bills take on the Panthers in their final preseason game on Friday night.