NFC Notes: Matt Araiza, Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots


  • Per Colleen Shalby and Robert Lopez of the Los Angeles Times, Bills sixth-round P Matt Araiza is one of three former San Diego State players accused in a civil suit of gang-raping a 17-year-old girl at an off-campus party in 2021. 
  • According to the lawsuit, the girl says Araiza gave her a drink at the party and told her to perform oral sex even though she had told him she was in high school. She then says he took her into the bedroom where she was raped by the other football players. 
  • She reported the incident to the police the next day. Under police supervision, she conducted a pretext call with Araiza, who recommended she get tested for chlamydia, per the lawsuit. She then asked if they had “actual sex” and Araiza said, “This is Matt Araiza. I don’t remember anything that happened that night.”
  • San Diego police also conducted an investigation and have presented their findings to the district attorney, who will make a decision on criminal charges. Araiza’s attorney denies all of the accusations.
  • The Bills said in a statement: “We were recently made aware of a civil complaint involving Matt from October 2021. Due to the serious nature of the complaint, we conducted a thorough examination of this matter. As this is an ongoing civil case, we will have no other comment at this point.”
  • The Athletic’s Tim Graham reports the Bills were made aware of the lawsuit and allegations in July. It’s not expressly clear if they knew when they drafted Araiza but they definitely did when they cut veteran P Matt Haack.
  • The attorney for the plaintiff says the Bills did not reach out to them as a part of their investigation: “Absolutely not. Never heard from them again.” (Graham)


Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa said the team’s offense is completely different this year and the group is playing with more confidence.

Everything,” he said, via PFT. “Everything. The offense is different. The confidence that the guys have coming out to practice is different. The confidence that the guys have coming into the building is different. The way we do things around the building is different. Just everything. I can’t necessarily point to one thing and I think that’s what’s going to help make us a better team is us spending more time with each other, not just in the building, but outside the building. And we’ll see where this thing goes for us.

Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel praised Tagovailoa’s positive attitude and said it was infectious for the rest of the team.

He’s probably one of the most optimistic people I’ve ever been around…I think that’s what gives the entirety of the team confidence.


  • Heavy’s Matt Lombardo lists the Bears, Falcons and Giants as potential fits to trade for Jets WR Denzel Mims. Chicago and Atlanta are rebuilding their receiving corps, while the Giants are dealing with injuries and got a close look at Mims during joint practices. The Falcons also had joint practices with the Jets. 
  • Jets HC Robert Saleh didn’t rule out the Jets keeping Mims, pointing out “he’s one of our 53 best [players]” and he doesn’t think Mims would be a distraction. (Connor Hughes)
  • Saleh said he spoke with Mims and had a good conversation, adding things are business as usual. Mims practiced on Friday. (Brian Costello)
  • Mims has been working on special teams in an effort to get on the field. Saleh acknowledged he’s improving but he’s not where they want him to be. (Hughes)
  • Jets S Lamarcus Joyner said he told his agent the Jets were the only team he wanted to sign with this offseason, otherwise he would have retired. (Zack Rosenblatt)


  • NFL Media’s Mike Giardi says tackle is a concern for the Patriots. They shifted Isaiah Wynn from the left side to the right, which he’d never played before. Wynn hasn’t been enthused by the switch and hasn’t been able to stay healthy. 
  • Giardi adds the Patriots explored a potential trade involving Wynn but that would be a major leap of faith in either backup Justin Herron or Yodny Cajuste
  • On the other side, Giardi points out Trent Brown has had some difficulties at left tackle and hinted at some discontentedness over his salary, which is far below the left tackle premium. 
  • Overall, the Patriots offense has struggled a lot during camp. Giardi says the team believes a lot of their struggles can be traced back to the offensive line, especially as they implement more wide zone concepts. Getting buy-in from the players has also been an issue, as Giardi explains the players need to see the system work and that hasn’t happened yet. 
  • Finally, Giardi mentions the Patriots are putting a “considerable” amount of weight on second-year QB Mac Jones‘ shoulders. He’s struggled some during camp along with the rest of the offense. Jones has improved recently but the staff is concerned if the offensive line and running game struggle, it will damper Jones’ strengths. 
  • NESN’s Zack Cox adds G Michael Onwenu would also be an option at right tackle but that would leave a hole at guard. 
  • ESPN’s Mike Reiss highlights four undrafted free agents he thinks have a chance to make the Patriots’ final roster, including C Kody Russey, S/special teamer Brenden Schooler, OLB DaMarcus Mitchell and DT LaBryan Ray.
  • The Patriots’ injury settlement with CB Malcolm Butler was for six weeks. Butler can sign with any team besides New England now but this suggests he won’t be healthy until then. (Field Yates)

Looking for the latest NFL Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow NFL Trade Rumors on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NFL News and Rumors for all 32 teams!

Leave a Reply