Former Vikings CB Dies at Age 25

Jeff Gladney
Aug 28, 2020; Eagan, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive back Jeff Gladney (20) at practice at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Former Minnesota Vikings cornerback Jeff Gladney has died, according to Ari Meirov of Pro Football Focus.

Gladney was 25 years old.

The cause of death was reportedly a car accident in Dallas.

Drafted by the Vikings in the 1st Round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Gladney spent one season in Minnesota before joining the Arizona Cardinals this spring. In Arizona, Gladney sought a career reclamation after he was released by the Vikings in 2021.

As a rookie, Gladney was scrappy and often played like a safety, a tenacious tackle machine who started 15 of 16 games during his maiden voyage. Gladney and then-teammate Cameron Dantzler formed the Vikings plan for life after Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes.

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In the spring of 2021, though, Gladey was arrested in Texas for assault. He was acquitted less than a year later. In the meantime, the Vikings cut Gladney before due process played out.

Gladney’s collegiate teammate at TCU confirmed the tragedy on Twitter.

Details of the accident are unclear.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).