The New York Jets will be hosting a workout this Wednesday for free agent punter Matt Araiza, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. This comes as Araiza looks to get back into the NFL after being released by the Buffalo Bills last August, shortly after a 17-year-old girl accused him and two former San Diego State teammates of gang rape.
Despite the allegations, prosecutors decided not to press criminal charges against Araiza late last year, while a subsequent investigation conducted by San Diego State found no wrongdoing by the now-25-year-old. Araiza maintains his innocence.
However, Araiza may not have an easy path back to the NFL as the Jets recently signed veteran Tom Morstead to a $1.3 million contract with $1.1 million of it being guaranteed. The Jets are likely to keep the 33-year-old Morstead as their main punter for the 2021 season while using Araiza to provide additional competition in practice.
This isn’t the first time Araiza has looked to latch on with an NFL team as he was signed to the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad in 2019 and wound up playing in three games. With that said, the coming workout will be a major test for the former San Diego State standout as teams are still evaluating whether or not he has been exonerated of the alleged incident.
For his part, Araiza is certainly hoping to show teams that he is deserving of another chance in the NFL. Should he succeed, it would be a great opportunity for him to demonstrate his football skills and prove he’s worthy of a roster spot.
At the end of the day, the outcome of this workout will help shape what Matt Araiza’s future in the NFL looks like. Although the chance to join the Jets is there, the process won’t be easy. However, he’ll be looking to prove himself at every turn, and hopefully, for his sake, he can get another shot at a career in the league.