The Buffalo Bills’ decision to release rookie Matt Araiza was, to put it mildly, controversial. But what do his now former teammates say about this?
Speaking to the media on Monday, Bills offensive lineman Mitch Morse reacted sharply to the team’s decision. Morse said the decision “sparked some conversations” among Bills players. But he clarified that they are “healthy”.
“It definitely sparked some locker room conversations, I think useful between the guys,” Morse said.
Morse also spoke about head coach Sean McDermott’s desire to balance winning with doing the right thing. He said it was a difficult time as a result.
“He wants to win football matches, but he also, there is something higher, there is a higher power in what is just humanity, in the way he behaves… it’s really such a difficult time.”
(Trigger Warning) Araiza was recently named as a defendant in a civil case where he and two former college teammates were accused of gang raping a 17-year-old girl who had not reached the age of consent in the state of California while at a college party in 2021.
A few days later, the Bills released a player they ranked 180th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft.
It is clear that it is difficult for the team to weigh the issue of releasing a player who can make a big contribution, despite criminal charges that have not yet led to a conviction.
But the bills have made their decision. Only time will tell if it was right or necessary.