Jeff Gladney, Arizona Cardinals cornerback and former Minnesota Vikings first-round pick, died in a car accident Monday morning in Dallas, TX, his agent confirmed to media outlets. He was 25.
Gladney was a four-year starter at Texas Christian University and was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round with the 31st overall pick. He appeared in 16 games for the Vikings in the 2020 season, starting 15 and finishing the season with 81 total tackles, three passes defensed, and one forced fumble.
He was released by Vikings last August after he was indicted on a charge of assault involving a former girlfriend in April 2021. He signed a two-year contract with the Cardinals in March after he was found not guilty of the charge. He participated in team drills last week and was to compete for a starting job during the offseason.
The Cardinals released a statement Monday to the media.
“We are devastated to learn of Jeff Gladney’s passing. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and all who are mourning this tremendous loss,” it said.
“We are saddened by the tragic death of former Viking Jeff Gladney,” the Vikings said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to his family and friends, as well as the Arizona Cardinals organization and Jeff’s current and former teammates and coaches who are mourning his life lost much too soon.”
The NFL said in a statement: “The NFL family mourns the tragic loss of Jeff Gladney and we extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.”
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