Heyn in the face of widespread public backlash and internal questions about the award decision Matt Araiza boat work, buffalo bills changed course by stabbing a rookie on Saturday, two days after a lawsuit was filed alleging a player and two college teammates raped a teenager last fall.
The decision to cut ties with their sixth-round draft pick from San Diego State came after Buffalo cleared the way for Araiza to take over cross-country duties by releasing returning veteran Matt Haack on Monday.
The bills decided to keep Araiza was even aware of the charges brought against him since the end of July. The team then stood by the player, announcing that they had “done a thorough investigation” into the matter a day after the lawsuit was filed.
Araiza’s release is beginning to ease the crisis that has rocked the team, as evidenced by coach Sean McDermott barely holding back his emotions as he discusses the situation following Friday night’s 21-0 pre-season loss to Carolina.
Without going into detail, McDermott said he was unaware of some of the revelations that came to light after the lawsuit was filed a day earlier, and has repeatedly stated that the team has been working to get to the bottom of the truth.
“This is not a situation that we take lightly. It hurts me, I understand that they hurt,” McDermott said, referring to the Buffalo fans. “It’s not easy to hear about some of the things that I’ve been hearing about in the last few hours. To be honest, I didn’t get much sleep.”
McDermott made the call to keep Araisa from playing against Carolina. The player watched the game from an undisclosed location and also issued a statement through his agent, Joe Linta, stating: “The facts of the incident do not match what they are portrayed in the lawsuit or in the press. I’m looking forward to quickly establishing the record straight.”
With no other player on the roster, third quarterback Matt Barkley took over punt duties.
The story of the alleged rape by Matt Araiza
Lawsuit filed in San Diego County Superior The court accused Araiza and two teammates of raping a 17-year-old girl at a Halloween party. in the off-campus house where Araiza lived. The San Diego police investigation was referred to the district attorney’s office to determine whether charges should be filed. District Attorney spokeswoman Tanya Sierra said on Friday there was no timeline for a decision yet.
In Buffalo, attention shifts to why the Bills were unaware of the allegations against Araiza when the San Diego State player was selected in the sixth round of the draft in April. Although last year he was the best player in college football and received the nickname A “punt god” due to a hard-hitting left foot, Araiza became the third player to be drafted.
It is unclear if Araiza informed the NFL of the allegations in the months leading up to the draft.
Executives from two different teams told The Associated Press that they became aware of Araiza’s involvement in the incident during the draft process, but neither knew the extent of the allegations. The leaders of the other three teams said they were not aware of the allegations against Araiza prior to the draft and did not learn of the incident until Thursday. All people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.
Although it is unclear when the Bills first became aware of the allegations, they did become aware of it towards the end of July when Dan Gilleon, a lawyer representing the alleged victim, identified in the lawsuit as “Jane Doe”, contacted the team’s legal counsel, Katherine D’Angelo. , by email.
“She seems to be worried.. She says she’ll call me back, but she never answered,” Gilleon said. “I even went on and said, ‘Hey, you guys didn’t talk to me and didn’t call me back like you promised. And they just ignored it too.”
Without saying when, Araiza’s lawyer, Kerry Armstrong, said he also told his client to be sincere and inform the Bills of the allegations. Armstrong said he has also been in regular contact with the Bills over the past month to provide details of his own investigation into what happened.
“I don’t 100% believe that he ever forcibly raped this girl or had sex with her while she was unconscious, drunk or anything like that,Armstrong said.
Billy also had what they called a “thorough examination” which ultimately led to their decision to cut Haack.
The Bills also briefed the NFL on the incident as soon as they became aware of it, a person familiar with the situation told the AP. The person, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the matter, was unsure of the timing.
The NFL declined to comment, saying it knew about it.