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Packers Reportedly Have Interest in Tollefson

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Packers Reportedly Have Interest in Tollefson

Lost amid the news of Tim Tebow being traded from the Denver Broncos to the New York Jets and the NFL handing down debilitating penalties to the New Orleans Saints for their part in "Bountygate," was a piece of free agent news regarding the Packers from Adam Caplan of SiriusXM Radio and TheSidelineView.com.

"DE Dave Tollefson scheduled to visit the Seahawks on Thursday, according to a source," wrote Caplan via Twitter on Wednesday afternoon. "The Bucs and Packers also have interest."

Tollefson has played for the New York Giants the past five seasons, but Packers fans may remember him as Ted Thompson's seventh round draft choice back in 2006. As such, the Green Bay personnel department is already very knowledgeable about the unrestricted free agent.

During his rookie season in 2006, Tollefson was cut at the end of training camp and spent the rest of the season on the Packers practice squad.

In 2007, Tollefson was cut again at the end of training camp and later signed with New York where he has been ever since.

Since that time, Tollefson has played in a reserve role at defensive end for the Giants while contributing to two Super Bowl victories in 2008 and the most recent one following the 2011 season.

Tollefson appeared to be part of the regular defensive line rotation for the Giants for the past several seasons but was prevented from playing a bigger role due to the presence of elite pass rushers like Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul.

In 2011, Tollefson played in all 16 games and started two when injuries forced him into the lineup. He finished with a career-high 21 tackles and five sacks.

At 6-4 and 266 pounds, Tollefson would almost assuredly play outside linebacker in the Packers' 3-4 defensive system.

As a defensive end who's played in a three-point stance most of his career, there would certainly be concerns about his ability to transition to a new position at 29 years old. But his ability to rush the passer and hold the point of attack on the edge make him an intriguing possibility.

One could make the argument that Tollefson could have been a much bigger factor in New York had he not played second fiddle to players like Tuck, Umenyiora and Pierre-Paul. His five sacks in limited playing time in 2011 are corroborating evidence.

It's also possible that 3-4 outside linebacker could be Tollefson's ideal fit, and he's just never had a chance to play in such a scheme. When the Packers drafted Tollefson in 2006, they were still running a 4-3 system employed by former defensive coordinator Bob Sanders.

It could be a situation where the tutelage of new defensive coordinator Dom Capers and outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene could be just what the doctor ordered.

At this point, however, the only news is that the Packers have "interest" in Tollefson. Additional interest from other teams like the Seahawks and the Buccaneers will only drive up the asking price for the free agent, a price the Packers may be unwilling to pay.

The Seattle franchise, where Tollefson will be visiting, is headed by general manager John Schneider who was a member of the Packers' front office when Green Bay drafted Tollefson in 2006.

Also factoring into the Packers' interest could be the status of free agent linebacker Manny Lawson who Green Bay reportedly also has reportedly had discussions with.

In any case, Tollefson is an interesting player, the type of under-the-radar free agent with age still on his side that history says Thompson would prefer to sign as opposed to the splashy, big-name players who make headlines in the first week of free agency.

 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (6) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Kparis99's picture

Sold. Sign him Ted.

Wiscokid's picture

I don't think he's the answer. We don't need just another "guy" on the roster. We need someone that can make play. He's not it.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

+1.

lebowski's picture

Aaron Kampman, part deux

pkrNboro's picture

The revolving-door, opposite Matthews, continues to spin.

Playing the 8th dLineman on the Giants will be much different than OLB for the Packers.

Barry's picture

Matt Forte,4th round pick?

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