Jets Should Consider Kicking Tires on Troubled Former First-Round CB

Jeff Gladney Vikings

Getty Minnesota Vikings cornerback Jeff Gladney making a tackle attempt in an NFL game.

New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas has preached about his willingness to turn over every stone to try and improve this football team.

That ideology will be truly tested as we continue to progress through the final leg of the offseason in training camp, preseason, final roster cuts, and by virtue of the waiver wire.

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Gang Green May Be Tempted by a Forbidden Fruit

The Minnesota Vikings released their 2020 first-rounder Jeff Gladney out of TCU on Tuesday. The move came shortly after Gladney, “was indicted by a Texas grand jury on a charge of felony assault against a woman he was previously in a relationship with.”

Details of the allegations are disturbing:

  • He has been charged with a domestic violence incident that stems from an altercation with his ex-girlfriend in which he impeded her breathing by “applying pressure to the woman’s neck and throat.”
  • In addition to that, ESPN reported that he attempted to “bribe and intimidate” the woman in an effort to keep her quiet.

Obviously, all of that sounds downright awful, and if convicted the 24-year old could serve up to a decade in prison.

Although it’s important to note that everyone should be innocent until proven guilty.

Gladney’s representation said as much in an official statement following his client’s release from Minnesota:

“Jeff’s inditement was 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. The Vikings did what they thought was best for the organization which we respect but we still strongly believe in Jeff Gladney’s innocence.”

There’s a lot to unpack here.

Gladney is now an unrestricted free agent and he is free to sign with any NFL team he wishes. Although the NFL could still levy punishment under its’ personal conduct policy as new information presents itself over the coming weeks and months.

Sometimes You Have to Risk It, to Get the Biscuit

Inside the Jets building, they believe in their young cornerbacks and want to give them a chance to prove themselves throughout the preseason.

Outside the offices, several analysts have questioned that blind loyalty when there have been other options available.

We can each have different opinions, but here are the facts:

  • The most experienced player at cornerback has 115 snaps to his name in Justin Hardee.
  • The Jets’ three projected starters have combined to start only 25 games in their careers.

The Jets don’t have a true No. 1 and maybe not even a No. 2 cornerback on the roster.

There’s a reason that Gladney was the 31st overall pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft.

Here’s a stat for you, in his only season in the NFL he started 15 games for the purple people eaters in 2020, that’s more games started in a single season than any other cornerback on the Jets roster.

The TCU product is a tough-minded press corner that plays to the whistle. On top of his mental aptitude, he also possesses elite instincts and the desire to tackle, which you don’t see in a lot of corners nowadays.

In other words, he’s a really talented cornerback that would fit the Jets scheme. The former TCU product actually met with the green and white prior to the 2020 NFL draft and was considered a target for them.

The talent and the scheme fit are obvious, what isn’t so obvious is whether or not Douglas would be willing to take a risk.

Financially speaking, he could probably get Gladney on a solid value, but it’s all the other stuff. We don’t know how this is going to play out, which is a major reason why the 24-year old is a free agent in only his second season.

Douglas has preached he wants the best culture in all of sports and adding a player with baggage could disrupt everything he has built over the last two years and specifically this offseason.

There are a lot of pros and cons in regards to whether or not the Jets should sign the talented cornerback. At the very least they should kick the tires and do their due diligence considering their current crop of corners.

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