Feb 142014
Dave Tollefson, Oakland Raiders (July 30, 2012)

Dave Tollefson Retires as a New York Giant – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Dave Tollefson Retires as a New York Giant: Defensive end Dave Tollefson, who played with the New York Giants for five seasons from 2007-2011, announced his retirement from the NFL on Friday as a New York Giant. Tollefson also played for the Green Bay Packers (2006) and Oakland Raiders (2012). He did not play last season.

In five seasons with the Giants, Tollefson played in 63 regular-season games with two starts. He accrued 81 tackles, 10 sacks, and three forced fumbles. He was a member of both the 2007 and 2011 NFL Championship teams.

“I wanted to make sure Tom (Coughlin) knew and the Maras and Tisches knew how much it meant to me,” Tollefson said. “They gave me the shot. If it wasn’t for what they did for me, who knows where I’d be now. I have three kids and a wife that I love. To be able to provide for them is something that I couldn’t even imagine in my wildest dreams as far as the way we live our lives. I’m indebted to coach and the Maras and the Tisches for doing that for me.”

“I didn’t grow up with a dad, so I was lucky enough to have some men in my life that helped shaped me into the type of man that I am now,” Tollefson said. “To say that I was already grown up when Coach Coughlin got ahold of me is not quite right. The relationship that he and I had meant a lot to me, because I felt he was always honest with you, which I really liked. I always felt like he was a father figure and I really took to heart how he felt about the way I played football and the type of person I was.”

Tollefson was asked about what he would miss about the NFL.

“The relationships,” replied Tollefson. “You hear it all the time when guys retire, that they’re not going to miss the game, they’re going to miss the locker room. I know, for sure, I’m going to miss the locker room and those guys, but the great thing is the relationships I made playing with the Giants. I talk to those guys all the time. I talk to Osi (Umenyiora) and (Justin) Tuck weekly, (Michael) Strahan still, Eli (Manning). You build relationships that I’ve built with the Giants, they become lifetime deals, you know?”

“I’m sure (the Super Bowl championships are) what the roots are to the relationships with those guys,” Tollefson said. “We went through those three seasons in-between Super Bowls, and that made the second one a little sweeter. It means a lot to me. I wasn’t that accomplished in high school like a lot of guys, I lost the national championship in college. So to finally get that elusive ring at any level, for me personally, it meant quite a bit, nonetheless two. I’m one short. Megan is pregnant with our third boy, who is due in April. I might have to go coach and get another ring so the third one doesn’t feel left out.”

“I have a couple surgeries lined up,” Tollefson said about his future. “I have to get some stuff taken care of physically, but right now, it’s kind of up in the air. I’m looking at it as a little bit of a halftime for me. I had this great game plan for the first half of my life and it worked out great, playing pro football and everything, but now the game has changed a little bit, so I have to re-adjust. I’ve taken this last year off and I’ll probably take another year off, enjoy the time with the kids. I’ve been Mr. Mom, taking them to school and picking them up and doing that. I don’t really know yet. I still have time to kind of figure that out. It’s not only a new chapter but maybe a new book in the Tollefson story.”

Giants.com Inside the Film Room: Video breakdowns of the following Giants players are available at Giants.com:

  • Defensive Tackle Linval Joseph (Video)
  • Defensive Tackle Mike Patterson (Video)
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Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of BigBlueInteractive.com, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

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