|Date of birth||October 26, 1953|
|Place of birth||Hamlet, North Carolina|
|College||North Carolina Central|
|NFL draft||1977 / Round: 7 / Pick 187|
Before his NFL career, Breeden played for North Carolina Central University. After graduating college, he was selected by the Bengals in the seventh round of the 1977 NFL draft. He ended up missing the entire 1977 season on injured reserve, but in 1978, he became a starter and immediately made a big impact for Cincinnati, intercepting 3 passes and recovering 2 fumbles. Breeden once again had injury problems during the 1979 season, playing just 10 games and recording no interceptions, but he came back full-time in 1980, and ended up leading the Bengals with a career high 7 picks.
In 1981, Breeden set a Bengals record in a game against the San Diego Chargers by intercepting a pass from Chargers future hall of fame quarterback Dan Fouts and returning it 102 yards for a touchdown, helping his team win the game 40–17. To this day it is the longest play in franchise history, although it has been tied by Eric Bieniemy's 102 yard kickoff return in 1997 against the New York Giants, and Artrell Hawkins' 102 yard interception return in 2002 against the Houston Texans. Breeden finished the season with 4 interceptions, 145 return yards, 1 touchdown, and a fumble recovery, assisting the Bengals to a 12–4 regular season record. Cincinnati advanced through the postseason to the AFC championship game, where they once again faced Fouts' Chargers, this time in one of the coldest games in NFL history (it later became known as the Freezer Bowl). Just like in the previous game, Breeden had a key interception that helped his team win the game. After the Bengals built a 17–7 lead, Breeden intercepted a pass from Fouts on the Chargers 5-yard line to prevent them from responding with a score. The Chargers never scored again for the rest of the game and the Bengals ended up winning the game 27–7, and advanced to their first championship game in franchise history, Super Bowl XVI.
Breeden spent his entire NFL career with the Bengals and retired after the 1987 season. In his 10 NFL seasons, Breeden recorded 33 interceptions for 558 yards and 2 touchdowns, while also recovering 2 fumbles. His interceptions and return yards are both the second most in Bengals history behind Ken Riley.
Fewest punt return yards (career): -12
- North Carolina Central University Athletics sports history
- NFL DraftTracker
- Football Database
- "Reed rumbles 108 yards for NFL record | Longest interception returns by team". Pro Football Hall of Fame. November 24, 2008. Retrieved June 2, 2014.