Bills general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott have announced the team released punter Matt Araiza on Saturday night. The move was made after a civil lawsuit was filed for a rape allegation against Araiza.
"We just think it's the best move for everyone to move on from Matt (Araiza) and let him take care of this situation and focus that," Beane said.
Beane explained they were first made aware of the situation in late July.
"Her representative spoke to Kathryn (D'Angelo) and laid out some of the things that they were accusing Matt (Araiza) and others of," Beane shared. "At that time, our process, we tried to be thorough and thoughtful and not rush to judgment. I would say it's not easy, you're trying to put facts around a legal situation, sometimes with limited information, and so ultimately that's where we're at today with a decision."
During the scouting process before the NFL Draft at the end of April, Buffalo and several other teams were unaware of this information.
"We've reached out to I can tell you double digit teams at this point, and no one had anything on this," Beane. "These names were sealed, wherever the investigation was at that point. Yes, if we had this, and we get things like this from guys, you know how important the character and the culture is to Sean and me and anything that would have been lingering, that would have been off our board."
Knowing the type of culture the Bills want to keep in place, McDermott and Beane are focused on doing what is right.
"We don't have all the answers," Beane said. "We're not perfect. But I can tell you, as Sean (McDermott) said earlier, we just tried to do what was right. And has everything been perfect? No. But in our heart of hearts, I can lay my head down at night knowing that I've tried to do what's right, and I know he has too."
The Bills believe the decision to move on from Araiza was more than just a football decision.
"It's a very serious situation, and with the serious nature of allegations, we don't have the means to put all the facts together," Beane said. "There's multiple versions of what happened and he's a football coach, I'm a GM. We don't have access to everything and so that's more important than playing football. And so, we want Matt to focus on that."
Even though the last two days have been tough on the organization, Beane and McDermott know there are others hurting more than them right now.
"Please understand that we are sympathetic to all involved," McDermott shared. "I think that is important."
"The last 48 hours have been very difficult for a lot of people," Beane added. "It's been tough. And we sympathize with this whole situation, all the parties involved, this young woman, what she went through. Really feel bad for that whole situation. Ultimately this a legal situation, we don't know all the facts and that's what makes it hard."