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The cornerback from Texas was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings, who said those who knew him on the field “are mourning his life lost much too soon.”
Jeff Gladney, a cornerback for the Arizona Cardinals, died over the holiday weekend when his SUV crashed in Dallas. He was 25.
The NFL, the Cardinals and the Minnesota Vikings, who drafted Gladney in 2020, announced the loss in statements Monday.
“We are devastated to learn of Jeff Gladney’s passing,” the Cardinals said. “Our hearts go out to his family, friends and all who are mourning this tremendous loss.”
The Vikings said they grieved alongside “Jeff’s current and former teammates and coaches who are mourning his life lost much too soon.”
The NFL said Monday that Gladney was killed in a Dallas-area accident early in the day.
Gladney’s agent, Houston-based Brian Overstreet, also cited a crash, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Overstreet did not immediately respond to requests for more information.
NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reported that Gladney was one of two people killed in a crash involving a Mercedes-Benz SUV overnight on a service road for the Woodall Rodgers Freeway in Dallas.
Also declared dead at the scene was Mercedes Palacios, 26, her family confirmed to the station. She was a passenger in the SUV, it said.
Speed might have played a role, NBC Dallas-Fort Worth said, citing officials whose investigation was ongoing.
Fellow Cardinals defensive player J.J. Watt called the news “just tragic.”
Jalen Reagor, who played with Gladney at Texas Christian University, said on Twitter, “Lost my Brother, my best friend, my right hand man ain’t too much more I can take man damn.”
Fellow Cardinals player Eno Benjamin tweeted: “Praying for the entire family. Love you bro.”
Gladney was from New Boston, Texas, and went to TCU as one of the best high school cornerbacks in the state, the university said.
The Vikings drafted him in the first round in 2020. He signed with the Cardinals earlier this year.
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