NFL athlete Jeff Gladney, who was a first-round draft pick in 2020, died in a car crash on Memorial Day.
The up-and-coming Arizona Cardinals cornerback was just 25 years old, Fox News reported.
Killed in car accident
Police say that Gladney was speeding early Monday morning in Dallas when he clipped another car from behind, lost control of his vehicle, and crashed into a freeway pier beam.
The impact killed Gladney and his girlfriend, Mercedes Palacios, 26.
Gladney’s death was confirmed by his agent, Brian Overstreet, who asked for prayers for Gladney’s family. The NFL community was shocked by the tragic news.
“We are devasted to learn of Jeff Gladney’s passing. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, and all who are mourning this tremendous loss,” the Cardinals said in a statement.
A first-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft, Gladney played one season with the Minnesota Vikings before getting released over a felony charge for allegedly assaulting his ex-girlfriend.
NFL community shocked
The former TCU Bullfrogs star was later found not guilty and was picked up by the Cardinals on a two-year contract this March.
The Vikings said, “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.”
The NFL “mourns the tragic loss of Jeff Gladney and we extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones,” the league said.
Horned Frogs athletic director Jeremiah Donati said that Gladney would be “missed by our entire community.” A former teammate of Gladney’s from the Horned Frogs, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jalen Reagor, honored his “right hand man” in a tweet.
Gladney leaves behind a two-year-old son from a previous relationship.