Dave Tollefson retires, as a Giant

February, 14, 2014
Feb 14
3:30
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Former New York Giants defensive end Dave Tollefson announced his retirement Friday, at the age of 31.

Tollefson
Tollefson spent five of his seven NFL seasons with the Giants. He played for the Oakland Raiders in 2012, and was out of football in 2013, but has officially retired as a Giant.

"I wanted to make sure Tom [Coughlin] knew and the Maras and Tisches knew how much it meant to me," Tollefson told Giants.com. “They gave me the shot. If it wasn't for what they did for me, who knows where I'd be now."

Tollefson was the third-to-last pick in the 2006 NFL draft -- seventh round, 253rd overall -- selected by the Green Bay Packers out of Northwest Missouri State. He spent his entire rookie season on the Packers' practice squad, started the next season on the Raiders' practice squad, and then was signed away by the Giants on Oct. 2, 2007.

In 63 games for the Giants from 2007 to 2011, Tollefson had 89 tackles and 10.5 sacks as primarily a reserve defensive lineman and special teams player. He made his only two career starts in 2011, when he had a career-high five sacks.

And, of course, Tollefson earned two Super Bowl championship rings.

"The great thing is the relationships I made playing with the Giants," Tollefson said. "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?"

Tollefson has no definite plans for life after football yet, other than a couple surgeries, and spending more time with his wife and children.

"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," Tollefson said. "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."
Kieran Darcy is an ESPNNewYork.com staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.
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