Jeff Gladney's career got off to a bad start last year, when he couldn't showcase his skills in an awful Minnesota Vikings defense that, ultimately, was the main reason the team missed the playoffs.
Now, after Mike Zimmer completely rebuilt the group, Gladney will have to face bigger problems off the field before he can become a contributor to the revamped unit. The cornerback was charged in April with third-degree felony family violence assault and turned himself in three days after the incident, posting a $10.000 bond.
As the Vikings get ready for training camp, they seem to do so without expecting the second-year cornerback to be a part of their roster for the 2021/22 season. Gladney has already missed OTAs and mandatory minicamp and there's been a lot of additions to the team's secondary with Patrick Peterson, Bashaud Breeland and Mackensie Alexander all signed in free agency.
Jeff Gladney's career so far
A first-round pick for the Vikings in 2020, Gladney had a disappointing rookie season where he struggled to provide much of an impact as one of the starting corners. However, the whole defense was below-average overall, so it's unfair to put a lot of blame on him. He did not get any help from the pass rush and vice-versa.
Even though Gladney came from the Big XII, a Power 5 conference where the offenses dominate, there weren't a lot of concerns about his technique, and his athleticism was off the charts. Everyone thought he'd make a smooth transition to the pro level, but that didn't happen.
The most concerning thing about Gladney is how he suffered with injuries throughout his time at TCU, as he had surgeries to repair his ACL in his freshman season and also injured his meniscus before the senior season.
What charges is Gladney facing?
The details of Gladney's case are disturbing. According to public reports, Gladney assaulted a woman after she refused to show him her text messages, also shoving her face, pulling her toward the phone to unlock it through Face ID, hitting her with closed fists and later strangling her.
Prosecutors will present his case to a jury on July 22, in Dallas County, Texas. If the grand jury returns the indictment, Gladney is unlikely to see the field in 2021, as he'll have to face discipline not only from the jury but from the NFL as well.
Even though the Vikings used a first-round pick on him last season, some things are just bigger than football. Minnesota has a lot of new faces in 2021 and the organization will move on without him.