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Steve Freeman

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Steve Freeman
Date of birth (1953-05-08) May 8, 1953 (age 64)
Place of birth Lamesa, Texas
Career information
Position(s) Defensive back
College Mississippi State
NFL draft 1975 / Round: 5 / Pick 117
(By the New England Patriots)
Career history
As player
1975–1986 Buffalo Bills
1987 Minnesota Vikings

Steven Jay Freeman (born May 8, 1953) is a former American football defensive back, and currently serves as an American football game official for the National Football League (NFL).

Freeman played college football at Mississippi State University, becoming the Bulldogs' leader in interceptions during the 1973 and 1974 seasons.[1] He was later named as one of the Southeastern Conference Football Legends.[2]

He was selected by the NFL's New England Patriots during the 1975 NFL Draft. However, he was released by the Patriots before the start of the regular season, and eventually signed with the Buffalo Bills. Freeman spent 12 season with Buffalo, compiling 23 career interceptions and three touchdowns.[3] In 1980 alone, he intercepted seven passes for 107 yards and one touchdown. He spent his last NFL season, 1987, with the Minnesota Vikings after being traded by the Bills.[4]

After retiring as a player, Freeman became an American football official, working in college football's Southeastern Conference and NFL Europe before joining the NFL in 2001 as a back judge. As an official, he wears uniform number 133 and is on the officiating crew headed by referee Jeff Triplette.

One of Freeman's teammates in Buffalo was linebacker Jim Haslett, who later became head coach of the New Orleans Saints. Although the two men were teammates for several seasons, Freeman was not prohibited from working Saints' games during Haslett's six-year tenure as the Saints coach from 2000 to 2005. While in the SEC, Freeman was prohibited from working Mississippi State games, as league rules do not allow officials to work games involving their alma mater.

Freeman resides in Mississippi, is married and has three children. Freeman's son, Brad, was a four-year letterman on the Mississippi State baseball team and helped the Bulldogs reach the College World Series in 1997 and 1998, and in 2014, he was hired to join the NFL as a field judge after serving as a field judge in the SEC. Brad Freeman, who wears uniform No. 88, was the field judge for the 2015 playoff game between the Seattle Seahawks and Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium, where the kickoff temperature of 6 degrees below zero made it the third coldest game in NFL history.


  1. ^ "Four named to MSU Sports Hall of Fame". Mississippi State University. 2000. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Past SEC Football Legends". Southeastern Conference. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  3. ^ Miller, Jeffrey J. (2012). "75: From Red, White and Blue to Black and White". 100 Things Bills Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die. Triumph Books. ISBN 1600787282. 
  4. ^ "Where Are They Now: Steve Freeman". 2003-03-12. Archived from the original on 2006-11-27. Retrieved 2006-12-28.