Vikings cornerback Jeff Gladney was indicted by a grand jury in Dallas County, Texas, on Tuesday on a felony assault charge stemming from an altercation involving a former girlfriend in April.
Later Tuesday, the Vikings released Gladney, a first-round draft pick in 2020.
"We take these matters very seriously and condemn all forms of domestic violence," the team statement said. "Due to the ongoing legal nature of this matter, we are unable to provide further comment."
Gladney turned himself in to the Dallas County jail on April 5 after an arrest warrant was issued on a third-degree family violence assault charge. He posted a $10,000 bond and was released.
At the time, the Dallas Police Department said in a statement that Gladney, 24, and a 22-year-old woman "were involved in a verbal altercation over content in a cell phone. The altercation escalated, at which time Mr. Gladney physically assaulted the victim."
The indictment states that on or about April 2 Gladney caused bodily injury to the woman and impeded her normal breathing and circulation of blood by grabbing and squeezing her neck and throat, striking and pulling her with his hands, and by forcing her "to and against a vehicle window."
Gladney has not commented publicly on the allegations, but he did post on Instagram in June: "Still hard to believe this girl tryna ruin my life because I wouldn't be with her ... What makes it worse is the actual truth will never be out there."
On Tuesday, Gladney's attorney, Morris Overstreet, said he was "a little surprised" the grand jury chose to file an indictment in the case, but added, "The district attorney's office has to continually evaluate their cases and see if it's a case they want to try. And so we're just going to wait and see, be available, defend what we have to defend and see how it moves forward."
An initial court appearance in Gladney's case has not yet been scheduled in Dallas County court.
Vikings owner and president Mark Wilf heard the news about Gladney's indictment just before a news conference on Tuesday and twice called the allegations "obviously very disturbing."
"The Vikings did what they thought was best for their organization, which we respect, but we still believe in Jeff Gladney's innocence," his agent, Brian Overstreet, said in a statement. "We look forward to his day in court so that he can clear his name."
Gladney is also the subject of a civil lawsuit, filed July 26, in which the woman is seeking more than $1 million in damages. In that suit, she accused him of assaulting her for more than two hours in his truck and attempting to "bribe, manipulate and threaten" her into silence about the incident.
Gladney played in all 16 games last year, starting 15. He did not take part in their offseason program and was not present for the start of training camp last week.
Gladney is now a free agent. According to a league source, the remaining base salary guarantees in Gladney's contract — $1.109 million in 2021, $1.609 million in 2022 and $1.476 million in 2023 — void because of his release.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league "will continue to review this serious and concerning matter under the Personal Conduct Policy and monitor all legal developments."
According to the personal conduct policy, violations that involve felony assault or domestic violence are subject a baseline suspension without pay of six games for the first offense. Even a player who is charged but not convicted may be found to have violated the policy "if the credible evidence establishes that he engaged in prohibited conduct."