Chiefs news: Brett Veach says Matt Araiza should have returned sooner to NFL

Brett Veach addressed the vetting process used by the team before signing Araiza.

Buffalo Bills Training Camp
Buffalo Bills Training Camp / Joshua Bessex/GettyImages

Earlier this month, the Kansas City Chiefs signed Matt Araiza in a somewhat surprising move that brought the punter back into the league—and consequently the public eye—after sitting out the last two seasons in the NFL.

Araiza was, at one point, the most accomplished and talented punter in college football, a specialist good enough to forgo his final season of college eligibility and declare early for the NFL Draft. Araiza won the Ray Guy award as the nation's best punter and was even nicknamed "Punt God" in the process.

The Buffalo Bills originally drafted him in the sixth round, but shortly before the regular season was about to begin, accusations of rape from his days at San Diego State came out and a criminal investigation was launched. Within two days, he would be released by the Bills and out of the NFL.

By the end of 2022, Araiza was cleared of all charges and the investigation was stopped, but Araiza would remain unemployed for another calendar year through the 2023 season as well before the Chiefs signed him last week.

Brett Veach addressed the vetting process used by the team before signing Araiza.

When speaking with the media from the 2024 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Veach was asked about the signing of Araiza and the process that made them comfortable with the addition.

"Yeah we go through our process, and that one was a long process there. I think from our end, we attack this like we do every player that we add on our roster. We go through the entire process and our intel and security team. I think when that came through, it was pretty much a green light and that it was an opportunity for him. Probably should have been in the league maybe sooner than what he was, but he had to go through that process. We’re looking forward to adding him to the roster, but as far as the information and our process, there was no hold-up there."

For the Chiefs, the signing of Araiza gives them a chance to add a dynamic specialist while losing Tommy Townsend to free agency after four seasons with the team. Townsend was himself a former All-Pro and should garner a solid contract in free agency.