By JOHN WAWROW
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills filled their punter vacancy by signing Sam Martin last week, two days after the 10th-year player was cut by the Denver Broncos.
Buffalo had no punter on the roster after cutting Matt Araiza on Saturday. Araiza was accused in a civil lawsuit last week of being involved in the gang rape of a 17-year-old girl last fall.
Martin worked out at the Bills’ facility earlier Wednesday. The workout was key for Martin after he hurt his ankle in warmups before the Broncos’ 42-15 preseason loss at Buffalo on Aug. 20.
Martin was due to make $2.7 million this season before losing the job in Denver to Corliss Waitman.
Buffalo freed up a roster spot to sign Martin by placing Marquez Stevenson on injured reserve after the receiver/returner had surgery to repair a foot injury he sustained during training camp. Stevenson will miss at least the first four weeks of the season.
Martin spent his first seven NFL seasons with the Detroit Lions, where he earned league all-rookie honors in 2013. The 32-year-old ranks ninth among active players in averaging 46.1 yards per punt.
The Bills selected Araiza, nicknamed “Punt God” for his on-field exploits at San Diego State, in the sixth round of the draft. Buffalo cut punter Matt Haack on Aug. 22, giving Araiza the job. The civil lawsuit accusing Araiza was filed on Thursday, and the Bills released him two days later.