Sometimes, the business of football can leave you scratching your head.
Dave Tollefson—the former New York Giants backup defensive end, special teams warrior and California native—returned to his home state by signing a two-year deal with the Oakland Raiders on Friday, according to Steve Corkran of The Oakland Tribune. The deal is worth $2.5 million over two years with $500,000 of incentives thrown in.
While the Giants continue to ask Chase Blackburn, Jonathan Goff, Rocky Bernard and others to sign for veteran minimums, certain players are taking advantage of their Super Bowl popularity.
Tollefson had visited Green Bay, Seattle and Tennessee on his free-agency tour.
While Tollefson was not a major star for the New York Giants, he was a huge fan favorite. And, to be quite honest, he was a great role model for how the game should be played. Tollefson never took a play off, never complained and made the most of every opportunity that was given to him.
According to Michael Eisen of Giants.com, Tollefson signed a one-year deal to return to the Giants in 2011 at the urging of Tom Coughlin and a hand full of teammates.
"When (Coughlin) asked me about Tollefson, I told him the contribution he's made to this team and what he means to this locker room," said Justin Tuck, a two-time Pro Bowl end. His popularity amongst his teammates was on display after signing his contract as he received a full ovation from his defensive teammates in the defense meeting room.
"We're all glad that he's back. We need him," Mathias Kiwanuka said last season. Looking back, I am sure Dave Tollefson was glad he stayed around for one more year.
This past season, Tolly's deal was a one-year deal with a veteran-minimum base salary of $685,000 and a $50,000 signing bonus.
"I've got a soft spot in my heart for the New York Giants," Tollefson said. "They’re the ones that plucked me off the practice squad four years ago and gave me a shot."
The 2012 Giants will miss the endless energy, the big-time special teams hits and the unselfish play. Tollefson's new contract can be worth up to $1.5 million a year from the Raiders, and he gets to play ball 22 miles from where he grew up.
He is currently one of seven defensive linemen in the Raiders' 3-4 system.
Was the $765,000 worth losing Tollefson?