Arizona Cardinals cornerback Jeff Gladney died after a car accident early Monday morning. The athlete, who was signed to a two-year contract with the team, was 25.
His agent, Brian Overstreet, confirmed the manner of death to multiple news outlets.
“We are devastated to learn of Jeff Gladney’s passing,” the team’s statement, posted to Twitter, read. “Our hearts go out to his family, friends and all who are mourning this tremendous loss.”
Prior to being a 2020 first-round pick for the Minnesota Vikings, Gladney was a three-star prospect hailing from New Boston, Texas. While playing for Texas Christian University’s Horned Frogs, he developed into a shutdown cornerback, finishing off his collegiate career with 43 passes defensed, five interceptions and six tackles for loss, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
In 2020, he was dropped by the Vikings after being indicted on felony assault charges related to an incident where he allegedly committed intimate partner violence against a former girlfriend. He missed the 2021 season and was found not guilty by a Dallas jury in March. Shortly thereafter, he was signed by the Cardinals.
“The NFL family mourns the tragic loss of Jeff Gladney and we extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones,” the organization said in a statement.
TCU athletics director Jeremiah Donati also issued a statement, saying, “He loved everything about his alma mater. He was a frequent visitor to campus and was at our spring practices and spring game this year, proudly joined by his young son. He will be missed by our entire community.”
See further tributes below:
Lost my Brother, my best friend, my right hand man… ain’t too much more I can take man damn!
R.I.P Jeff Gladney, brother watch over me please.
— Reag (@jalenreagor) May 30, 2022
this one hurt man. hug those close to you, RIP Jeff Gladney
— pro. (@jamesproche3) May 30, 2022
Rest In Peace Jeff Gladney. The 25 year old cornerback for the Arizona Cardinals has passed away. So much life ahead of him. Send a prayer up for him, his family and friends after this tragic loss.
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) May 30, 2022
We are saddened by the tragic death of former Viking Jeff Gladney. 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. pic.twitter.com/5bdVCXT6Gv
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) May 30, 2022
This Jeff Gladney news hitting me different. Had the privilege of playing with him during his rookie year in Minnesota. One of the most respectful and intentional rookies I’ve been around so far. Always had a smile and came to work. Sad sad. So young, so precious. RIP Young King
— George Iloka (@George_iloka) May 30, 2022