Jeff Gladney, who was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft and set to play for the Arizona Cardinals during the 2022 season, died in a car accident Monday morning in Dallas, according to ESPN.
In a statement released by the Cardinals, it said, “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.”
Gladney was born and raised in New Boston, Texas where he was a three-star recruit at New Boston High School. He signed to play college ball at Texas Christian University (TCU) in 2015. During his time at TCU, Gladney was a four-year starter and was named second-team all-Big 12 Conference in 2018 and first-team all-Big 12 Conference in 2019.
In 2020, Gladney was drafted with the 31st overall pick in the first round by the Minnesota Vikings. After one season with the Vikings, he was released in August 2021 after he was indicted for assault against his former girlfriend in April 2021. He was found not guilty in the trial, according to ESPN.
This offseason, Gladney signed a two-year contract with the Cardinals and was going to compete for a starting job.
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The crash took place around 2:28 a.m. Monday, according to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department. A white vehicle was overturned when officers arrived. Dallas Fire-Rescue confirmed two people — a male and a female — were dead.
According to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, the crash involved two vehicles. According to preliminary information, the white vehicle was speeding and clipped the vehicle in front of it, losing control before hitting a beam on Woodall Rodgers Freeway in Dallas. The two people in the other vehicle were not injured.
Investigators will release the names of the two people who died in the accident once the medical examiner makes positive identification of the bodies and notifies the next of kin.
Many sent their condolences over social media including the NFL, TCU, the Minnesota Vikings, Cardinals teammates and college teammates.