The Minnesota Vikings released cornerback Jeff Gladney on Tuesday after he was indicted by a Texas grand jury on a charge of felony assault against a woman with whom he was previously in a relationship.
"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," the team said in a statement.
Gladney, 24, who was a first-round draft pick last year out of TCU, started 15 games for the Vikings as a rookie. He had not been around the team since his arrest in April in Dallas.
He is charged with domestic violence by impeding breathing, for "intentionally, knowingly and recklessly" causing bodily injury and applying pressure to the woman's neck and throat, according to the indictment. The altercation grew out of an argument and took place over a span of more than two hours, according to a lawsuit recently filed against Gladney by the former girlfriend. She also alleged in the suit that he tried to bribe her and intimidate her into keeping quiet.
No court date has been scheduled yet. If he is convicted, the cornerback could serve up to 10 years in prison.
Earlier Tuesday, Vikings owner and president Mark Wilf called the allegations against Gladney "very disturbing and something that's concerning to us as ownership and to our organization."
Gladney's agent Brian Overstreet said in a statement released to NFL Network that he was disappointed by the Vikings' decision.
"It's a good thing that innocent until proven guilty still exists in this country,'' Overstreet said. "Unfortunately, the Vikings don't view it the same way.''
Overstreet called the indictment "a normal step in the judicial process'' and explained the case is headed for a trial but is not an indication of Gladney's guilt or innocence.
"We received information that the complaining witness in this case came forward and requested the case not be prosecuted,'' Overstreet said. "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.''
NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said the league office "will continue to review this serious and concerning matter under the personal conduct policy" and will monitor all legal developments.
Gladney is now an unrestricted free agent. If he were to be signed by another club, he could be placed on the commissioner's exempt list while the case against him moves toward completion. In 2014, the NFL toughened its personal conduct policy to include a baseline six-game suspension without pay for violations involving domestic violence and other related crimes.
ESPN's Courtney Cronin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.