Chiefs Release Promising Rookie, Ending Camp Competition: Report

Chiefs release Ryan Rehkow leaving Matt Araiza as sole punter.

Getty The Kansas City Chiefs appear to have made their decision at punter.

It appears that the Kansas City Chiefs have decided on a new punter for the 2024 season.

Barring a late addition at the position, the job will seemingly go to “Punt God” Matt Araiza over promising BYU prospect Ryan Rehkow .

Matt Derrick of Chiefs Digest reported that the team had released Rehkow in a corresponding move after the KC Star’s Sam McDowell reported the signing of undrafted defensive lineman Alex Gubner.

Can confirm the Chiefs are signing DL Alex Gubner from Montana. He attended minicamp on a tryout basis [and] @SamMcDowell11 had it first,” Derrick posted on X. “Club released P Ryan Rehkow to free roster space, per source. Matt Araiza appears to be the winner of the punter job for now.”

Undrafted, Rehkow averaged 47.4 yards per punt over the course of his college career and 48.4 yards per punt in 2023. Since Kansas City released him ahead of training camp, the rookie can still get another opportunity to win an NFL job elsewhere before Week 1.

Chiefs Sign ‘Experienced’ & ‘Versatile’ DL Alex Gubner

Gubner was one of several defensive linemen the Chiefs invited to their three-day mandatory minicamp on a tryout basis. Per McDowell’s report, Gubner impressed during minicamp and earned a spot on the team’s 90-man roster.

Gubner, the 2023 Big Sky Defensive MVP, appeared in 58 games for Montana, logging 172 total tackles with 28.5 of them resulting in a loss of yardage. He also recorded 10.5 sacks at Montana, 4 interceptions, 8 pass defenses, 1 forced fumble and 1 block.

NFL Draft Diamonds (NDD) scouted Gubner as an “experienced, versatile player who is solid overall against the run and pass.” His “subpar size” was the concern ahead of the draft, however, leading to Gubner’s difficulty “maintain[ing] gap integrity consistently against double team/combo blocks from [a center/guard] with good size, play strength and foot drive.”

Having said that, Gubner has shown fight, winning a spot on a very competitive 90-man roster. He profiles as a three-technique D-tackle and a practice squad candidate for Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

Matt Araiza Wins Second NFL Chance With Chiefs

Araiza was a standout at San Diego State from 2018-21 and averaged 51.19 yards per punt, an NCAA record. The Buffalo Bills selected him in the sixth round with the 180th overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, and he was named the Bills’ starting punter as a rookie. However, he was released during the preseason after a lawsuit accusing him and two former San Diego State teammates of rape became public.

Araiza was exonerated of criminal charges in December of 2022, and his name was dropped from the lawsuit altogether a year later. Despite the outcome of court proceedings, however, it took Araiza until the 2024 offseason to find a new NFL home and sign a contract with the Chiefs.

I am proud and honored to sign a contract with the Chiefs [and] I am thrilled to be able to continue my NFL career,” Araiza stated via his agency on X on Feb. 22. “I want to thank my family, who have been my rock and my many friends who have been unwavering in their support. I am excited to begin the next phase of my career with the Super Bowl Champs!”

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