The Minnesota Vikings released cornerback Jeff Gladney on Tuesday after he was indicted by a grand jury in Dallas on a felony domestic violence charge stemming from an incident that occurred back in April. According to court documents obtained by TMZ Sports, Gladney was accused of violently beating up his girlfriend after the couple got into an argument regarding the contents in the woman's phone. The woman accused Gladney of hitting, choking, and dragging her to the ground by her hair after he found something on her phone.
The Vikings released this statement concerning Gladney:
"Following our review of today's indictment against Jeff Gladney, we have decided to release Jeff immediately. As we have previously said, we take these matters very seriously and condemn all forms of domestic violence. Due to the ongoing legal nature of this matter, we are unable to provide further comment."
Following this move, Gladney's agent, Brian E. Overstreet, released a statement of his own proclaiming his client's innocence, via Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
"It's a good thing that innocent until proven guilty still exists in this country. Unfortunately, the Vikings don't view it the same way. Today, Jeff was indicted which is simply a normal step in the judicial process. It means his case is going to trial and nothing more. It does not speak to his guilt or innocence. We received information that the complaining witness in this case came forward and requested the case not be prosecuted. The Vikings did what they thought was best for their organization which we respect, but we still strongly believe in Jeff Gladney's innocence. We look forward to his day in court so that he can clear his name. At this time out of respect for the legal process and all parties involved, Jeff and his representatives will have no further comments."
The incident occurred on April 1 and Gladney was eventually arrested on April 5. After several months have passed since the incident, Gladney's case was put in front of a grand jury on July 29 -- per USA Today -- and it was revealed Tuesday that he faces a felony charge of third-degree family violence assault. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years behind bars.
Gladney is also facing a civil lawsuit regarding this altercation from his accuser, who is seeking $1 million in damages. In that suit, the woman claims Gladney "attempted to bribe, threaten, blackmail, and manipulate" her to keep the situation under wraps.
Of course, this situation has serious consequences for Gladney's NFL career. Minnesota drafted the TCU product in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft and he started 15 games in the Vikings' secondary last year. As expected, the corner passed through waivers unclaimed on Wednesday, making him a free agent.
As this case develops, it will be curious to see how Gladney is treated by the NFL. Even if he is eventually cleared, Gladney could still face punishment from the league under the personal-conduct policy. No matter if that ultimately is his fate or not, Gladney's overall pro career appears to be very much in jeopardy with these serious accusations now at the forefront.