‘Punt God’ Matt Araiza gets second chance from Chiefs

Punter Matt Araiza is getting a second chance at an NFL career after the Kansas City Chiefs signed him to a contract on Thursday.

Araiza lost his gig with the Buffalo Bills shortly before the start of the 2022 season when the team released him two days after allegations emerged that he was involved in a sexual assault with a then-17-year-old girl at a party in San Diego in October 2021.

“I am proud and honored to sign a contract with the Chiefs,” Ariaza said in a statement through JL Sports, his representation.

“I am thrilled to be able to continue my NFL career. I want to thank my family, who have been my rock and my many friends who have been unwavering in their support.”

The district attorney’s office in San Diego declined to press criminal charges in December 2022. Two months ago, Araiza was dropped from the girl’s lawsuit.

Ariaza earned the nickname “Punt God” for his high, lengthy kicks at San Diego State and won the Ray Guy Award after setting an NCAA record with a 51.19 punting average.

He was a sixth-round pick by the Bills in the 2022 draft and greatly impressed with his booming boots during the preseason before the allegations came out.

Now the Chiefs, led by general manager Brett Veach and coach Andy Reid, are bringing him onboard shortly after winning their second straight Super Bowl.

“We are grateful to Brett Veach, coach Reid and the Chiefs organization for giving Matt this opportunity,” Joe Linta of TL Sports wrote on social media.

Tommy Townsend, Kansas City’s punter over the last four seasons, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next month. He was a Pro Bowl pick in 2022.