While the Arizona Cardinals have been mostly quiet on the free agency front, they may have pulled off an under-the-radar type of move.
According to Jordan Schultz, the Cardinals are signing former 2020 first round pick Jeff Gladney.
Breaking: CB Jeff Gladney is signing with the #Cardinals, per sources. Gladney, 25, is a former first-round pick of the #Vikings. I’m told the Cards really like his ability to play both inside and out. https://t.co/fNQdgWcvUi— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) March 16, 2022
Gladney was a hot prospect in 2020, but was released after being brought up on assault charges.
He was found not guilty in the court of law, which made NFL teams willing to begin taking a look at him.
While we cannot speak to anything regarding the arrest and following not guilty verdict, the Cardinals and Michael Bidwill must feel comfortable that the trouble is behind Gladney and we will leave it at that.
As for the player, Gladney struggled in 2020 as a rookie, but has a high upside and has already taken those rookie lumps.
His scouting report via NFL.com:
Press cover irritant who plays an extremely competitive brand of football from snap to whistle. He has the twitch and route anticipation to stay close. Possesses ball skills to contest a good percentage of throws. His coverage traits should allow him to thrive in man or zone, but his desire to make every play on the ball could lead him into occasional bait-and-switch traps by smart quarterbacks. He’s slender so teams will need to decide whether to play him outside or in sub-packages, but no matter where he plays, this ball-hawking alpha has the talent to help his team on all three downs if needed.
From Matt Miller:
Gladney doesn’t fit the size profile for an outside man-coverage cornerback, but his technique and speed suggest he’ll be just fine on the sideline going toe-to-toe with NFL wide receivers. He should be a rookie starter.
PRO COMPARISON: Joe Haden/Vernon Hargreaves
It’s odd to say this, but Gladney plays faster than a 4.48, which is already fast. What I love about Gladney’s game is how he competes to the very last second. You’ll see Gladney doing everything he can to fight for the ball. That and his transitions are top-notch.