Cornerback Jeff Gladney, a former first-round pick who had recently signed with the Cardinals, was killed in a car accident early Monday morning in the Dallas area, Clarence Hill and Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram report. The accident occurred at around 2:30am, according to SI.com’s Albert Breer (on Twitter). Gladney was 25.
Gladney did not play in the NFL last season, with a felony family violence assault charge leading the Vikings to waive him in August 2021. After being acquitted of the charge in March, Gladney signed a two-year deal worth $6.5MM with the Cardinals.
“We are devastated to learn of Jeff Gladney’s passing,” the Cardinals said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to his family, friends and all who are mourning this tremendous loss.”
Gladney made 42 starts at TCU and finished the 2019 season eighth in Division I-FBS with 14 pass breakups. That helped garner the New Boston, Texas, native first-team All-Big 12 honors as a senior. Gladney, who was at TCU for five years, intercepted five passes during his college career.
The 5-foot-10 defender became an immediate starter for the Vikings, who used the rookie on 89% of their defensive snaps during the 2020 season. Making 15 starts for a Vikings defense that encountered numerous injury problems, Gladney made 83 tackles as a rookie. He was set to be a key part of the Cardinals’ secondary in 2022.