Oakland Raiders Sign Dave Tollefson: Plus a Look at Other Recent Signings

In a move that bolsters my confidence of the Oakland Raiders new general manager Reggie McKenzie up another notch, the team has signed Bay Area born defensive end Dave Tollefson. According to ESPN business analyst Andrew Brandt, the 29-year-old will sign a two-year contract worth $2.5 million.

Tollefson comes from the New York Giants where he provided great depth at defensive end, but the Giants already had  Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul at defensive end and Mathias Kiwanuka playing both linebacker and defensive end and could not afford to keep Tollefson on the team, benefiting the Raiders just where they need it.

Tollefson is a solid player and could greatly improve Oakland’s defensive front. In 2007, Tollefson was signed before the start of the season but ultimately waived during the final round of cuts. It was a decision the team’s late owner, Al Davis, reportedly regretted, according to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News.

The California native was credited with a career-high five sacks last season with the Giants, and he may turn out to have a huge impact on improving the Raiders’ defense in 2012. This is a great signing at a good price, and should give fans throughout Raider Nation just another reason to have faith in McKenzie.

Another positive move the Raiders made was signing linebacker Philip Wheeler last week. He comes from the Indianapolis Colts and credited Raider fans and the legendary reputation of the team for helping him make his decision to call Oakland home. Wheeler helped the Colts win the AFC Championship in 2009, and he could also be a big help when it comes time to face the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning. Wheeler commented on his former teammate shortly after he was signed and said, “I feel like I’m better just from going up against him in practice every day and I’ll be prepared to face any quarterback like that. I think I can help the team do that.”

Also just last week, was the trade for running back Mike Goodson. The Raiders acquired him in a trade for reserve offensive tackle Bruce Campbell, and it seems to be yet another shrewd move by McKenzie and the franchise. After losing Michael Bush to the Chicago Bears, Goodson will be competing with Taiwan Jones to be the primary backup for Darren McFadden.

Although the 24-year-old missed much of the 2011 season, he was a solid player in 2010, ranking second in receptions while carrying the ball 103 times for 452 yards.

Everything is falling into place and seems to point to the Raiders getting back on track to achieving a winning record in 2012.

K.C. Dermody grew up in the Bay Area of California, and has been an Oakland Raiders fan for her entire life. She has continued her loyalty to the team through its many ups and downs over the decades, and has been privileged to meet several of her favorite players, including famed quarterback, Jim Plunkett. Follow her on Twitter @kcdermody, Facebook atwww.facebook.com/kcdermodywriter or www.kcdermodywriter.com

More from this contributor:

 Will Philip Wheeler Sign with Oakland? Plus Raiders Trade Bruce Campbell for Mike Goodson: Fan’s Take

Oakland Raiders’ Three Compensatory Picks Another Good Sign for 2012: Fan Reaction

Oakland Raiders’ Legendary Quarterback Jim Plunkett: Thoughts on the Past and the Team’s Future