Former Bills punter Matt Araiza was reportedly worked out by the Jets, and Aaraiza’s agent, Joe Linta, joined Carton and Roberts on Wednesday to discuss the civil suit against Araiza, who was accused of being involved in an alleged gang rape of a 17-year-old girl during his time at San Diego State in 2021.
Araiza, nicknamed the “Punt God” for his punting ability, was deemed to not have been present during the alleged rape by prosecutors earlier this month, and last week, an internal investigation by the university cleared him of any wrongdoing. So, as Araiza looks to find his way back onto an NFL roster after Buffalo released him in light of the allegations, Linta wanted to clear the 23-year-old’s name.
“He’s been talking about this from day one, and the facts of the case,” Linta said of Araiza. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years, and pretty much every kid I’ve represented is a kid you’d have date your daughter, so I’m really big on the character stuff in the kids I represent.”
Linta insisted that he got the facts from Araiza about that night, and that investigations after the fact have supported all of Araiza’s recounting.
“I grilled him and ripped him. I said ‘Look, you gotta be straight with me on this. I’m gonna stick up for you, but I need all the facts about this. Don’t lie to me,’” Linta said. “He was unbelievably forthright about everything. Everything he told me in August turned out to be true based on witness accounts, statements, videos, and other interviews, so I became very passionate about this. I have two boys a little older than him. I thought ‘God forbid this was my kid getting framed like this.’
“He’s standing at a part like we’ve all been…and a girl comes up and was the aggressor, asked him if they would play rock paper scissor on the side of the house, and did that on the side of the house for 20-30 minutes, and that was it. That was the end of his interactions with her throughout the night. She was on video professing to everyone that she was 18.
“Shortly after that, he was leaving with his designated driver…she goes into the house, and whatever happened after, he wasn’t there.”
Araiza is still facing a civil suit, but Linta maintains his client’s innocence.
“Look, if Matt is guilty of anything, it’s submitting to her aggressive behavior to fool around with him,” Linta said. “He copped to that, he owned that. Again, it’s a college party. All of these people that did past judgement…let’s put ourselves in that situation.”
With a civil case still looming, Linta says Araiza has been practicing his punting and hoping to catch on with a team, which could be the Jets.
“I cannot tell you how stoic he has been through this. That tells you how resolute he is about knowing he did nothing wrong,” Linta said. “He’s been punting the football like a nutcase for six months, staying busy with that.”
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