Bengals safety Chris Crocker, an unrestricted free agent, was invited to attend an NFL officiating academy in Baltimore on March 14-16. Crocker is the only active player taking part as the other 11 players invited are all retired.
"We are excited to continue providing opportunities for former players to explore post-playing careers," said TROY VINCENT, Senior Vice President of NFL Player Engagement. "Officiating is a natural extension for players who have an interest in staying close to the game."
Crocker and the 11 retired players will go through an Officiating 101 orientation and participate in programs featuring classroom and on-field instructions. There will be position group work, on-field scrimmages and conferences with Super Bowl XLVII referee Jerome Boger and NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino. The instructors during the three-day event will include Scott Green and Terry McAulay.
Crocker has been noted by the Bengals coaching staff as being extremely intelligent and an on-field leader. The Bengals signed him on a one-year deal after the season had already begun in 2012 and he started the majority of the team's games at strong safety.
The Bengals are likely looking for a new safety either in the draft, due to the fact that this year's class is deep with talent at the position, or in free agency.