Longtime NFL referee Jerome Boger retires

Referee Jerome Boger looks on during an NFL football game between the New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Cincinnati Bengals won 27-12. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)
Jerome Boger announced his retirement on Thursday. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Referee Jerome Boger was one of four NFL officials to announce their retirement Thursday, the NFL announced.

Down judge Jerry Bergman, line judge Walt Coleman IV and back judge Steven Patrick also announced their retirements, joining six other officials who have called it a career since the end of the 2022 season. Boger is the only referee to retire this offseason.

Boger, 67, joined the NFL in 2004 as a line judge. He was promoted to referee in 2006 and has overseen gameday officiating crews since. He refereed seven playoff games over the course of his career, including Super Bowl XLVII between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. There he was tasked with managing a bizarre scene when a power outage at the New Orleans Superdome forced a 34-minute game stoppage in the third quarter.

Boger's last playoff appearance was a 2021 wild-card game that saw the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Las Vegas Raiders en route to the Super Bowl. His final game as an NFL referee was of considerable less consequence when the Houston Texans beat the Indianapolis Colts in Week 18 in January.

As tends to be the case with officials, Boger was on the receiving end of his share of criticism, with the most notable controversy of his 2022 season involving Tom Brady. Boger's crew called roughing the passer on Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett for this third-down sack of Brady.

The call kept a Bucs drive alive in the final minutes of a 21-15 Tampa Bay win. After the game, Boger told a pool reporter that Jarrett was flagged for "unnecessarily throwing [Brady] to the ground."

The NFL has not yet announced a replacement for Boger or any of the other recently retired officials.