The Oakland Raiders made another wise signing that addressed an area of need Friday, agreeing to terms with free-agent defensive lineman Dave Tollefson in a move that will help solidify a defensive front that had been weakened by free agency.
The 29-year-old Tollefson's deal was first reported by Steve Corkran of the Bay Area News Group, who said that, while the contract itself hasn't been formalized, details are being ironed out that will signal a return to Oakland for Tollefson, who spent part of the 2007 season on the Raiders' practice squad:
Details of the contract are being finalized. A source close to the situation said Tollefson’s signing is imminent and a mere formality.
Tollefson, 29, spent the past five seasons with the New York Giants, where he played a part in their winning two Super Bowl titles.
Tollefson played in all 16 games for the Giants last season, starting two contests and logging 21 tackles and a career-high five sacks. The 6'4", 266-pound seventh-year pro is a capable and versatile player with experience playing linebacker, defensive end and defensive tackle. His arrival should help offset the losses of defensive linemen Jarvis Moss and Trevor Scott in free agency.
This is yet another savvy if less-than-flashy signing by new Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie, who has managed to address some free-agent losses with relatively inexpensive deals while creating a slightly more favorable salary-cap situation by restructuring the contracts of some highly paid veterans or cutting them loose.
So, while the Raiders still have several areas of need and precious few draft picks or cap space with which to address them at the very least the new Oakland front office is treading water, effectively making the best of a bad situation as they try to extricate the franchise from years of mismanagement.