Arizona Cardinals cornerback Jeff Gladney died Monday in a car crash. He was 25.
“We are asking prayers for the family, and privacy at this most difficult time,” said Brian Overstreet, Gladney’s agent.
Gladney’s former TCU teammate and fellow 2020 first-round draft pick Jalen Reagor posted his condolences to Twitter and that spread word of Gladney’s death around social media.
“Lost my brother, my best friend, my right hand man … ain’t too much more I can take man damn!” wrote Reagor, a receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles.
“R.I.P. Jeff Gladney, brother watch over me please.”
Gladney was drafted No. 31 overall by the Minnesota Vikings. He finished with 81 tackles, three passes defended, and a forced fumble in 16 games (15 starts) as a rookie.
“We are devastated to learn of Jeff Gladney’s passing,” the Cardinals wrote in a statement published on Twitter. “Our hearts go out to his family, friends and all who are mourning this tremendous loss.”
A 26-year-old female passenger in the car also died, according to reports.
Jeff Gladney on Nov. 8, 2020Getty Images
Jeff Gladney with the Vikings on Nov. 29, 2020Getty Images
“Horrifying news to hear this morning,” wrote Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt. “Just tragic. Rest in Peace Jeff.”
Gladney was released last August after he was indicted on a domestic-violence assault charge following allegations that he “intentionally, knowingly and recklessly” applied pressure to a former girlfriend’s neck and throat. He did not play last season.
“We are saddened by the tragic death of former Viking Jeff Gladney,” the Vikings wrote in a statement published on Twitter. “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.”
Jeff Gladney (#20) tackles the Cowboys’ CeeDee Lamb (#88) on Nov. 22, 2020Getty Images
Jeff Gladney on Dec. 13, 2020Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
A Texas court unanimously found Gladney not guilty of the felony charge. He was looking to restart his career with the Cardinals, who signed him as a free agent. A statement released by his agency at the time of the March verdict said that Gladney was “in a good place.”
Gladney is the second young NFL star killed in a motor vehicle accident this offseason. Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins — a 2019 first-round pick — was struck by a car while crossing a highway on foot in Florida.