Punt God, Matt Araiza deserves "Divine Intervention" and a shot with the Miami Dolphins

Matt Ariaiza was having a spectacular training camp with the Buffalo Bills before sexual assault allegations were raised against him and he was cut instantaneously. It’s time that he gets a second opportunity.,
Matt Ariaiza was having a spectacular training camp with the Buffalo Bills before sexual assault allegations were raised against him and he was cut instantaneously. It’s time that he gets a second opportunity., / Joshua Bessex/GettyImages

Matt Araiza was once one of the best punting prospects in the NFL until his personal life was shattered, now it's time to get another chance.

Matt Araiza was sued for sexual battery and there were allegations of gang rape against him in a civil suit, but criminal charges were never filed. The civil complaint was ultimately dismissed, but it could not reverse the damage that Araiza already suffered. His NFL dreams were cut short and placed on hold. He has restored his name and is ready to make another run at his NFL dream.

It is time for Danny Crossman to do the job, that I wish that he didn’t have, and scout punters. He is going to have to replace the outgoing Jake Bailey who is an unrestricted free agent and is not worth a second contract. Miami will have to decide whether it wants to bring in a veteran, or spend a draft choice on one in April.

Iowa’s Tory Taylor appears to be the top college punter, but it will require a significantly high draft choice to get him. Taylor, who comes from the same school as Reggie Roby, is often compared to the former Miami superstar. However, with so many holes to fill that are looked at as more important, I do not see Mike McDaniel and Chris Grier reaching for a punter with their second-round pick, if he is even still on the board when Miami selects, He is projected by many pundits to be off the board somewhere in the second round.

I have the perfect solution. Crossman should heed my message and act quickly.

The punter formerly known in college as Punt God is available as a street-free agent and could be obtained very cheaply. Matt Araiza was a sixth-round draft choice of the Buffalo Bills and has as strong a leg as Taylor and will come without spending a draft choice and giving up a corresponding large signing bonus. Araiza needs to work his way back into the league and the Dolphins would be lucky to grab him now before someone else does. He has been mentioned by former NFL punter Pat McAfee as a perfect candidate for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Miami has to grab him now, Do not pass go, do not collect $200.00. Go right to Araiza’s house and offer the man an opportunity, He averaged 51.19 yards per punt as a San Diego Aztec and had 18 60-yard boots. He would be a weapon for Miami and has the ability to flip the field.

Araiza had won the job in training camp in 2021, however, he was cut after gang rape allegations surfaced and his name was mentioned as one of the alleged participants. Charges in criminal court were never filed, but there was a civil suit by an alleged victim who named Araiza as a defendant, and his career was suddenly cut short. Araiza admitted to having consensual sex with the girl and denied the balance of her allegations.

The civil suit was ultimately dismissed and the state never prosecuted the case. Araiza deserves a second chance at life and at punting in the NFL. The Dolphins have a rich history of giving players a second chance and Araiza should be the next one signed.

If Crossman does his homework he will see that Araiza was one of the top punters coming out of San Diego State and has something that Miami has lacked in recent years. All punters can hit the ball long, but not a lot can do it with hangtime. Araiza’s bombs usually hang in the air for at least five seconds and he has a great leg.

Matt Araiza
Araiza running the 40-yard dash at the 2021 NFL Combine / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

Crossman should go get him, today. You can get an NFL-ready punter without having to spend a draft choice or much more than the league minimum in salary. He will be cap-friendly and will immediately become a weapon on special teams. If Araiza was punting for Miami in 2023, I will bet dollars to doughnuts that Deonte Hardy never returns a punt 96 yards for a touchdown in the season finale against the Bills on Monday night.