NFL referee Jerome Boger retires after 19 seasons

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Jerome Boger retired after 19 seasons as an NFL game official, 17 of those as referee.

His was one of four retirements announced Thursday by the NFL. Down judge Jerry Bergman retired after 21 seasons, line judge Walt Coleman IV retired after eight and back judge Steven Patrick after nine.

Boger’s tenure had its ignominious moments.

The 67-year-old was the crew chief for the wild-card game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Las Vegas Raiders in January 2022, when a whistle was blown during a play that saw Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow throw a touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd in the back of the end zone late in the second quarter.

Replay indicated that the whistle, which the officials called inadvertent, came while the ball was in the air and just before Boyd made the catch. The defender closest to Boyd appeared to ease up on the play just before the catch was made. Boger and his crew let the play stand.

Boger also drew widespread criticism this past season for a roughing-the-passer penalty on Atlanta’s Grady Jarrett on a sack of Tom Brady in Week 5. Jarrett seemingly avoided all the red flags for roughing but was penalized anyway, allowing the Bucs to run out the clock in the 21-15 win.

Boger ruled that Jarrett “unnecessarily threw him to the ground.”

Boger entered the NFL in 2004 as a line judge and was named referee ahead of the 2006 season.

Boger worked Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans between the Ravens and 49ers — his only SB assignment — and six other postseason games during his career.

–Field Level Media

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