Defensive end Dave Tollefson jumped from the Giants to the Raiders as a free agent before the 2012 season, but lasted just one year in Oakland and was out of football entirely in 2013.
He won’t be coming back in 2014. Tollefson has announced his retirement via the Giants’ website, which fits because he played more years for the Giants than anyone else and because Tom Coughlin has had a big influence on his life. Tollefson said that all the clocks in his house are set five minutes fast as an homage to Coughlin’s policy on the proper arrival time for meetings and he credits the Giants coach with shaping him as a man.
“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 originally a 2006 seventh-round pick by the Packers out of Northwest Missouri State, but spent five years with the Giants and worked his way into the defensive line rotation over the course of his time with the team. In 2011, he had five sacks in the regular season to help propel the Giants to the playoff berth they used as a springboard to their second Super Bowl title with Tollefson on the roster.