Retired defensive end Dave Tollefson helped the New York Giants win two Super Bowl titles from 2007-2012 and was a key role player in their impressive rotation of pass rushers.
Tollefson recorded 10 sacks in five seasons with Big Blue, half of them coming in 2011 when they won Super Bowl XLVI.
Unlike the coaching staff, certain members of the Giants front office did not value what Tollefson brought to the table, specifically former general manager Jerry Reese.
“I am not a big fan of Jerry. I don’t think he liked me and that’s why he signed me to five straight one-year deals. I wasn’t too upset when moved on from him,” Tollefson told Giants Wire.
However, Reese wasn’t the only one who questioned Tollefson’s worth. Vice President of Player Evaluation and Reese’s right-hand man, Marc Ross, was not on great terms with the defensive lineman, either.
“Marc used to go around telling people it was going to be easy to take my spot, which I heard from several reputable people in the building,” Tollefson said.
Ross interviewed for the Giants’ general manager job after Reese was let go, but once the team brought in current general manager Dave Gettleman, Ross was let go from the organization.
Since his firing, Ross has appeared numerous times on NFL Network to bash Gettleman, Eli Manning and the Giants organization rather than take any accountability for the disappointing draft classes both he and Reese brought in from 2008-2017.
“When they let us all go after 2011 and 2012, Jerry Reese didn’t give me close to a respectable offer after being third on the team with five sacks,” said Tollefson, who believes the team still had a chance to be playoff contenders had Reese kept the group together for another season or two.
Of course, Tollefson is referring to Reese letting go of some of the key contributors to those winning rosters including himself, Brandon Jacobs, Mario Manningham, Ahmad Bradshaw, Justin Tuck and Chris Canty, among others.
The Giants won two Super Bowls and were consistent playoff contenders from 2005-2012 going a minimum of .500 in each season. Obviously, the group was starting to age by the end of their run, but the cupboard was so bare due to their poor draft classes that they had no one to step up and replace the veterans they moved on from.
Speaking of Manning, Tollefson also expressed his displeasure about how the former regime wasted the two-time Super Bowl MVP’s prime years following Super Bowl XLVI. Tollefson feels the roster they surrounded the quarterback with from 2013-2019 was inexcusable and hurt Manning’s legacy.
The Giants are 51-77 with only one playoff appearance since winning Super Bowl XLVI. The team fired Reese and Ross in 2017 after their questionable draft classes from 2008-2017 and 2016 free agent spending spree left the team lacking depth and paying expensive veterans, who won all of three games in their final season.
The team is now on their fourth head coach since 2015 following Tom Coughlin’s 12-year run in blue.