Vikings cornerback accused of assaulting girlfriend

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Mark Craig, Star Tribune
·2 min read
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Vikings second-year cornerback Jeff Gladney turned himself in to Dallas County Jail in Texas on Monday after an arrest warrant was issued for a charge of third-degree felony family violence assault after an altercation with his girlfriend on Friday.

Gladney, a 2020 first-round draft pick who started 15 games as a rookie, posted a $10,000 bond. The charge carries a possible sentence of two to 10 years in prison.

"We are aware of Jeff's arrest and are gathering additional information," the Vikings said in a statement. "We take this matter very seriously, as the reported allegations are extremely disturbing.''

CBS 11 News in Dallas, citing anonymous sources and an arrest affidavit, reported that the 24-year-old Gladney is accused of assaulting his 22-year-old girlfriend after he became upset over her text messages.

The station reported that Gladney tried "shoving" the woman's face toward her phone to try to use its Face ID to unlock the phone, "pulling [her] by her hair trying to hold her still."

According to the report, the woman said Gladney struck her "with closed fists, causing pain in the side of her ribs, in the stomach and the back, and hitting her with an open hand across the head."

She also accused Gladney of "strangling [her] by the neck, which impeded her breathing for approximately 5 seconds" after returning to an apartment complex in Dallas. The woman also alleged that Gladney later grabbed her by her hair while the vehicle was still moving and dragged her across the ground.

The Vikings counted heavily on Gladney during his rookie season, and he was expected to be a key member of the 2021 secondary even after the team added veteran cornerbacks Mackensie Alexander and Patrick Peterson via free agency. The team has turned all of its attention in free agency to fortifying a defense that coach Mike Zimmer admitted was the worst he's ever coached.

Gladney played in all 16 games last season, registering 81 tackles, seven for losses, with three passes defensed and one forced fumble.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league "will review the matter under the Personal Conduct Policy" before making a decision on what action to take.

The NFL also noted that all team and league personnel and players are required to participate in league domestic violent and sexual assault educational programs, which are now in their eighth year.

According to the NFL's personal conduct policy, violations that involve felony assault or family violence are subject a baseline suspension without pay of six games for the first offense, with possible upward or downward adjustments based on any aggravating or mitigating factors."

A player who is charged but not convicted may still be found to have violated the league policy "if the credible evidence establishes that he engaged in prohibited conduct."