SAN DIEGO — Former Buffalo Bills draft pick and San Diego State football player Matt Araiza has found a new team to punt for — in Mexico.
Araiza, a 2022 NFL draftee who was cut before playing in a regular-season game for the Bills, has been practicing just south of the border for the Tijuana Galgos, a professional team in Mexico’s top American football league. The news comes while Araiza remains in an ongoing legal battle over an alleged gang rape that took place while Araiza was a student at SDSU.
The Tijuana head coach, Ricardo Licona, confirmed to News 4’s sister station, FOX 5, that Araiza will be on the roster.
The team welcomed Araiza for its 2023 season in social media posts Thursday. “Bienvenido,” they wrote; “welcome,” in Spanish.
In December, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office announced it would not pursue criminal charges following a review of the allegation. According to the DA’s office, there was “no path to a potential criminal conviction.”
Araiza responded claiming he is innocent and any contact with the accuser was consensual.
Nonetheless, a civil suit is moving forward with a trial date set for Oct. 20. A motion was filed by Araiza’s legal team to release the DA’s investigation, along with search warrants and police reports.
The accuser, who was 17 years old at the time of the alleged incident, contends she was assaulted by the group of men.
Araiza was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, then released on Aug. 28.