Matt Araiza finds new home in NFL with Kansas City Chiefs

The Matt Araiza signing is sure to raise a few eyebrows around the league.

Buffalo Bills Mandatory Minicamp
Buffalo Bills Mandatory Minicamp / Joshua Bessex/GettyImages

The Kansas City Chiefs have officially started the reconstruction of a roster aiming for a three-peat and they're already raising eyebrows with their first real addition of the offseason. On Thursday, the Chiefs signed former Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza, per ESPN reporter Jeremy Fowler, and it's an intriguing move for multiple reasons.

First, Araiza's availability in the first place is going to be the primary story here for most casual fans, who will remember when the Bills decided to waive him following rape allegations against Araiza and two other members of the San Diego State football team.

The Matt Araiza signing is sure to raise a few eyebrows around the league.

Araiza stated all along that he was innocent of the charges, but the Bills decided to release him outright instead of letting the legal process play out. Ultimately prosecutors sided with Araiza saying there was "no path to a potential criminal conviction" and that they'd determine he wasn't even present when the said incident took place.

Ultimately charges were dropped and Araiza's countersuit was also dropped against his accuser, but he's remained a free agent all this time—since last August.

Araiza's talents on the field were never in question. As a punter, he won the Ray Guy Award in college as the best punter in college football and he even decided to forgo his final season of eligibility to enter the draft. From there, the Bills decided to step up in the sixth round and take him but he never made it to the start of the season after being released due to the allegations shortly before the regular season began.

For the Chiefs, this also signals a willingness to let Tommy Townsend leave in free agency following four very good seasons with the Chiefs. Townsend was an All-Pro in the past who had one of the strongest legs in the NFL. Townsend will have no problem finding another team, but the Chiefs were likely looking at greater financial hurdles with so many free agents to attempt to bring back.

The Chiefs might bring in some competition for Araiza at punter on the offseason roster, but his talents should make him the frontrunner for the role in 2024.