Bills rookie punter Matt Araiza wins job after release of Matt Haack

The “Punt God” notched his first pro win as Matt Araiza won the Bills punting job, besting veteran Matt Haack.

Buffalo announced Monday it released Haack, which hands the job to the rookie. The club also cut WR/returner Tavon Austin.

The Bills selected Araiza in the sixth round out of San Diego State. The rookie won the gig despite booting just a single ball over the course of two preseason games. It helped that he boomed an 82-yarder in that lone punt.

With the Bills’ offense running up and down the field, Haack took the lone punt in Saturday’s preseason win over the Broncos.

Haack spent one year in Buffalo, averaging 42.9 yards per punt in 2021, ranking 32 out of 36 eligible punters, per Pro Football Reference.

It was going to be a longshot for Haack to hold off the rookie, who Buffalo used a draft pick to acquire. Following Araiza’s head-turning 82-yarder, they might as well have called the competition.

The Bills cutting Haack before Tuesday’s deadline for clubs to get down to 80 players on the roster gives the veteran a chance to latch on elsewhere to compete for a gig in 2022.

Austin became a superfluous addition to the Bills’ receiver room, with younger players like Khalil Shakir shining in preseason action. The 32-year-old continues to hang on to his NFL career, bouncing around the league. In 2021, he netted 24 catches for 213 yards and a touchdown in 13 games with Jacksonville. While NFL teams are always in search of speed, it might take a few injuries for Austin to find his next shot.

NFL+ gives you the freedom to watch LIVE out-of-market preseason games, LIVE local and prime-time regular-season and postseason games on your phone or tablet, the best NFL programming on-demand and more! Wherever you are, this is how you football!Learn more about NFL+.

Source: Read Full Article