Jeff Gladney, Arizona Cardinals cornerback and former Minnesota Vikings first-round pick, died in a car crash Monday morning in Dallas, TX, his agent confirmed to media outlets. He was 25 years old.
Gladney was a four-year starter at Texas Christian University and the Minnesota Vikings were drafted in the first round with the 31st overall pick. He played 16 games for the Vikings in the 2020 season, starting 15 and ending the season with 81 total tackles, defending three passes and forcing a fumble.
The Vikings released him last August after he was accused of involving an ex-girlfriend in April 2021. He signed a two-year deal with the Cardinals in March after pleading not guilty to the charges. He took part in the team drills last week and will compete for a starting job in the offseason.
The Cardinal issued a statement to the media on Monday.
“We are devastated to learn of Jeff Gladney’s death. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and those who are mourning his loss. “
“We are saddened by the tragic death of former Viking Jeff Gladney,” the Vikings said in a statement. “Our hearts are lost so quickly 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 death.”
The NFL said in a statement: “The NFL family mourns the loss of Jeff Gladney and extends its deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.”