Arizona Cardinals cornerback Jeff Gladney has died after being involved in a car accident in the early hours of Monday morning.

The Dallas County Sheriff's Office announced that at 2:28am, first-responders attended a scene where two cars collided.

One other person died in the crash. The second victim has not been identified as the incident remains under investigation.

The Cardinals confirmed Gladney's death in a brief statement.

"We are devastated to learn of Jeff Gladney's passing. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and all who are mourning this tremendous loss," the statement read.

Gladney, 25, was a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings after a glittering college career at TCU, where he became close friends with Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jalen Reagor.

Responding to the news, Reagor tweeted out: "Lost my brother, my best friend, my right hand man… ain't too much more I can take man damn! R.I.P Jeff Gladney, brother watch over me please."

J.J. Watt was one of several of Gladney's Cardinals teammates to also pay their respects, saying: "Horrifying news to hear this morning. Just tragic. Rest in peace Jeff."

Gladney's former team, the Vikings, also offered their condolences.

"We are saddened by the tragic death of former Viking Jeff Gladney," the franchise said. "Our hearts go out to his family and friends, as well as the Arizona Cardinals organisation and Jeff’s current and former teammates and coaches who are mourning his life lost much too soon."

J.J. Watt reflected on the Arizona Cardinals' 34-11 playoff defeat to the Los Angeles Rams as "a massive failure".

The Cardinals ended their season with a whimper at SoFi Stadium on Monday as the Rams dominated the Wild Card round clash between the NFC West rivals.

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford ended his wait for a first playoff win, throwing touchdown passes for Odell Beckham Jr. and Cooper Kupp while running in another.

Los Angeles will face defending champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Florida next Sunday in the divisional round. 

The Cardinals, on the other hand, are left to lick their wounds following a fifth defeat in seven games that brought their campaign to a juddering halt.

Watt returned from a shoulder injury to face the Rams and the defensive end pulled no punches with his verdict on the Cardinals' performance.

He said: "It was a massive failure from what we were capable of doing and from what we showed we can do [up until the game Monday], there's no other way to describe it than as a failure.

Quarterback Kyler Murray endured a game to forget, passing for 137 yards and throwing two interceptions in the Cardinals' first playoff game since 2015.

He said: "I play to win the Super Bowl. That's the goal, that's the mission, is to win the Super Bowl not to make the playoffs or go to the second round. We fell short."

He added: "It's disappointing that we didn't make it a game and come out and play the football we know we're capable of playing, that's really the most disappointing part.

"Losing is one thing, but when you don't even make it competitive, it's another thing.

"I put a lot on my shoulders, put a lot on myself and to dream of this moment and then be in the playoffs, the first game of the playoffs and then to play the way I did, to play the way we did, it's, like I said, disappointing."

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury: "When you're dropping back against that that group, it's not a good recipe.

"And that's what we've found ourselves in. So, we just made it a tough night."

The Arizona Cardinals have activated J.J. Watt from injured reserve in time for him to make an unexpected return for their Wild Card round clash with the Los Angeles Rams.

Watt was placed on injured reserve in November having undergone what was thought to be season-ending shoulder surgery in October.

However, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year has expedited his recovery and will line up for the Cardinals on Monday as they look to upset their NFC West rivals at SoFi Stadium.

Despite playing only seven games, Watt ended the regular season with the third-most quarterback pressures among Cardinals defenders with 32.

The Cardinals are looking to claim their first playoff win since the 2015 campaign when they lost the NFC Championship Game to the Carolina Panthers.

Unfortunately for Houston Texans fans, their team's offseason business has been more noteworthy than their performances on the field over the past 12 months.

The Texans stunningly traded All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins last March and three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt has already departed this year.

But the biggest move might be yet to come.

Quarterback Deshaun Watson wants out and, although Houston insist they will not facilitate a move, the current impasse – with the 25-year-old seemingly prepared to sit if not granted an exit – suits nobody.

Watson's lack of input in the team's search for head coach Bill O'Brien's successor was said to be the largest contributing factor when he first pushed for a trade in January.

But the Texans had issues last year beyond the process that eventually led to the hiring of David Culley, crashing to 4-12 in 2020 as results on the field accurately depicted the overall direction of the franchise.

A study of Stats Perform data shows the vast work to be done whether Watson stays or goes.

Offense

Hopkins had been Houston's leading receiver in each of the five seasons prior to his departure, including 104 catches for 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019.

His shock trade to the Arizona Cardinals - which came under a year after the franchise had given up a boatload of draft capital to acquire star tackle Laremy Tunsil - meant a rethink.

Will Fuller, second on that list with 49 receptions, was the obvious candidate to step up and he had 53 catches for 879 yards and eight touchdowns through 11 games.

But a six-game suspension – one week of which remains – for breaching the NFL's drug policy ended his season early. Former Green Bay stalwart Randall Cobb, who started only two games, also missed the end of the year due to a toe injury.

Meanwhile, the running game – led by David Johnson, who made up part of the Hopkins trade – scarcely registered.

Houston ranked 31st for rushing yards per game (91.6), 26th for rushing plays of 10 yards or more (38) and tied-30th for plays of 20 yards or more (five).

And yet despite losing Hopkins, leaving Brandin Cooks as his top target, having no run game to turn to and playing behind a bad offensive line – he was sacked 49 times, second-most among all QBs – Watson remained one of the league's best.

He topped the charts for overall passing yards (4,823), yards per attempt (8.87) and big plays of 25 yards or more (42). His passer rating of 112.4 trailed only MVP Aaron Rodgers.

Defense

Unfortunately, as Watson did all he could on offense to almost singlehandedly keep the Texans competitive, the defense also let him down.

Houston ranked 30th for opponent yards per game (416.8) and per play (6.24).

They were dead last for opponent rushing yards per game (160.3), where the failure to slow opponents over the ground could be attributed to D.J. Reader's departure in free agency and a shoulder injury to Benardrick McKinney that restricted him to four games and 19 tackles.

Meanwhile, the Texans were 24th for opponent net passing yards per game (256.5). Whitney Mercilus and Watt were each another year older and saw their numbers decline as a result, although the latter still led the team in sacks (5.0), QB hits (17) and defensive TDs (one).

And so with Watt's exit, the defense continues to lose talent just as it has in years past with Jadeveon Clowney and Tyrann Mathieu, both of whom left after a 2018 season in which Houston finished 11-5 and had six Pro Bowlers – including three on defense.

Offseason

Despite this grave picture, the Texans' reluctance to deal Watson suggests they have not given up just yet.

But with so much to fix – arguably every aspect of the team besides the outstanding QB – the offer of a substantial trade package for an unhappy player might start to appeal.

In another offseason in which a number of teams are looking for a new star under center, Watson, at 25, is the most valuable option on the table.

Perhaps a franchise like the Chicago Bears – potentially a Watson away from being a major contender – would make sense as a trade partner, desperate enough to give Houston the sort of assets that could allow for a rebuild.

But it may only be a team like the Miami Dolphins or New York Jets - with extra draft picks and young QB options to throw into the mix - who can come close to providing the sort of offer Houston would contemplate.

The Texans are projected to have around $33million in cap space, assuming a $185m cap, but there simply appears to be too much to do even if they can convince Watson to stay and play.

Moving on prematurely from the four-year, $156m deal Watson signed last year would provide room to manoeuvre in the years to come, too.

Houston's decision is unlikely to prove popular whichever way they go.

News of Watson's trade request prompted plans for a protest that the player himself had to call off.

But keeping their talisman might condemn the Texans to many more years like 2020, without a talented roster to support one of the NFL's most valuable assets.

Despite boasting one of the best QBs in the game, they are in an unenviable position of their own making.  

J.J. Watt said all signs kept pointing towards the Arizona Cardinals after joining the NFL franchise in free agency.

Watt signed a two-year deal with the Cardinals following his release by the Houston Texans in February.

The three-time Pro Bowler, who was drafted by the Texans in 2011, was linked with the likes of the Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers.

But Watt opted to make the move to Arizona, where the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year will reportedly earn $31million.

"I give them credit; they attacked from all angles," Watt told reporters during his introductory news conference on Tuesday.

"There was, I think, [general manager] Steve [Keim] and [owner] Michael [Bidwill] and everybody did a great job of, I mean, there were players, there were coaches, there were non-football people whatsoever that reached out and were in my ear and trying to convince me to come down here and tell me all the great things about it, and not only on the field but sending me pictures of Paradise Valley and everything off the field as well.

"So, their recruiting pitch was strong and heavy, but, at the end of the day, I told my wife, you know all signs just kind of kept pointing back down here to Arizona, and in my short time here on the ground, I can tell you that I'm absolutely pleased and couldn't be happier with my decision."

Watt is Houston's all-time leader for sacks (101), including posting 20.5 in the 2012 season as he was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year for the first time. 

The 31-year-old went on to win the honour in both 2014 and 2015, while he has also been named first-team All-Pro on five occasions, most recently in 2018. 

Watt has endured injury issues in his career, though he played in all 16 games this past season, logging 52 tackles, five sacks and one interception. 

He will now team up with star Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, who guided Arizona to an 8-8 record in the NFC West last season.

"It's pretty wild now to be on the same team," Watt said. "But, yeah, I've obviously seen his career. He's had an unbelievable career. He's an incredible athlete, and what he's been able to accomplish, he's been a winner at every stage of his life, and that's not a coincidence.

"You're a winner because of the way that you work and because of the aura that you give off and because of the talent that you have, and I think that he has all those things and he's going to continue to win and continue to have success."

J.J. Watt has revealed he is joining the Cardinals, reuniting him with former Houston Texans team-mate DeAndre Hopkins in Arizona.

Defensive end Watt became a free agent after his request to be released by the Texans - the team who drafted him in the first round back in 2011 - was granted in February.

Speculation over his next destination had been rife since his departure from Houston, but the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year has now confirmed his new home for the 2021 season.

Posting a picture while working out in a Cardinals shirt, Watt simply wrote: "Source: me."

According to sources, Watt will sign a two-year, $31million contract with the Cardinals. It is reported that the deal includes $23m in guaranteed money.

Watt, who turns 32 this month, has only previously played in the NFL for the Texans, who selected him with the 11th pick a decade ago. 

He is the franchise's all-time leader for sacks (101), including posting 20.5 in the 2012 season as he was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year for the first time. 

Watt went on to win the honour in both 2014 and 2015, while he has also been named first-team All-Pro on five occasions, most recently in 2018. 

The former Wisconsin Badger has endured injury issues in his career, though he played in all 16 games this past season, logging 52 tackles, five sacks and one interception. 

Despite having one year remaining on his deal, Watt and the Texans came to an agreement to mutually part ways as the franchise appears set to go through a rebuilding process. 

Watt will be back on the same roster as Hopkins, the wide receiver having been part of a blockbuster trade between Houston and Arizona almost a year ago. 

Hopkins had 115 receptions for 1,407 yards and six touchdowns as the Cardinals posted an 8-8 record in the highly competitive NFC West, not enough to seal a return to the postseason for the first time in five years.

J.J. Watt has revealed he is joining the Cardinals, reuniting him with former Houston Texans team-mate DeAndre Hopkins in Arizona.

Defensive end Watt became a free agent after his request to be released by the Texans - the team who drafted him in the first round back in 2011 - was granted in February.

Speculation over his next destination had been rife since his departure from Houston, but the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year has now confirmed his new home for the 2021 season.

Posting a picture while working out in a Cardinals shirt, Watt simply wrote: "Source: me."

According to sources, Watt will sign a two-year, $31million contract with the Cardinals. It is reported that the deal includes $23m in guaranteed money.

Watt, who turns 32 this month, has only previously played in the NFL for the Texans, who selected him with the 11th pick a decade ago. 

He is the franchise's all-time leader for sacks (101), including posting 20.5 in the 2012 season as he was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year for the first time. 

Watt went on to win the honour in both 2014 and 2015, while he has also been named first-team All-Pro on five occasions, most recently in 2018. 

The former Wisconsin Badger has endured injury issues in his career, though he played in all 16 games this past season, logging 52 tackles, five sacks and one interception. 

Despite having one year remaining on his deal, Watt and the Texans came to an agreement to mutually part ways as the franchise appears set to go through a rebuilding process. 

Watt will be back on the same roster as Hopkins, the wide receiver having been part of a blockbuster trade between Houston and Arizona almost a year ago. 

Hopkins had 115 receptions for 1,407 yards and six touchdowns as the Cardinals posted an 8-8 record in the highly competitive NFC West, not enough to seal a return to the postseason for the first time in five years.

J.J. Watt's brilliant 10-year run with the Houston Texans has come to an end after the team released the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year on Friday. 

The decision came at Watt's request and continues an offseason of tremendous turmoil and upheaval for the Texans franchise.

The star defensive lineman, who turns 32 in March, had one year remaining on his contract and did not wish to be part of an extensive rebuild coming to a team that finished 4-12 in 2020. 

"The connection I have with the people of Houston is special, and I will never take that for granted because I know how rare it is. I just want you to know to know that I love you and I appreciate you," Watt told Texans fans in a social media message.

"I want to thank the McNair family for drafting me and giving me my first opportunity in the NFL.

"Thank you, Houston."

Watt had spent his entire NFL career with Houston after being selected by the Texans with the 10th overall pick of the 2011 draft, and his 101 sacks and 172 tackles for loss are far and away the most in team history. 

"Simply put, there has been no person in the past decade who has made a greater impact on the Texans organisation than J.J. Watt," Texans co-founder and Senior Chair Janice S. McNair said in a statement. "J.J.'s dominance on the field was unprecedented and resulted in countless moments that will go down in Texans history."

Watt earned his first NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in his second season after recording a league-leading 20.5 sacks in 2012. He matched that total in 2014 while being named the NFL's top defender that season as well, then repeated the honour in 2015 after again leading the league with 17.5 sacks.

Injuries have lessened Watt's impact in recent years, however. He was limited to three games in 2016 by a herniated disc that required back surgery, and five in 2017 by a fractured left leg. The five-time first team All-Pro rebounded the following season with 16 sacks in 16 games, but missed eight games in 2019 after tearing his pectoral muscle.

Watt returned to play in all 16 games this past season and logged 52 tackles, five sacks and one interception.

The Wisconsin native is also renowned and lauded for his extensive charitable efforts in the Houston community. Watt was named the NFL's Man of the Year in 2017 after he raised over $40million through a social media fundraising effort to assist the city after it was struck by Hurricane Harvey.  

"Change is never easy, especially when it involves the ones you love. J.J.'s impact on not only our organisation, but the entire Houston community, is unlike any player in our franchise's history," Texans CEO Cal McNair said.

"I told J.J. earlier this week that we will forever consider him a Texan. We take solace in knowing that this is not a goodbye but a 'see you soon'." 

Change has been rampant within the Texans' ranks ever since McNair fired coach and general manager Bill O'Brien in October following an 0-4 start. 

Houston hired former Patriots executive Nick Caserio to fill the GM role in January and tabbed ex-Ravens assistant David Culley to be their new head coach, though both moves were not without controversy. 

Deshaun Watson's lack of involvement in the hiring processes prompted the star quarterback to issue a trade request, and longtime team president Jamey Rootes resigned earlier this week to pursue outside opportunities.  

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