Good teammates make good roommates. When Jake Ballard and Bear Pascoe moved in with Jim Cordle this season, the two gave the offensive lineman a practice squad discount on the rent.
Cordle's rate just went up.
On Tuesday, the Giants signed the 6-foot-3, 320-pound center off the practice squad, shoring up a position in which starting center David Baas sat out the second half of Sunday's victory in Arizona with a burner.
"I kind of figured the Giants would have more confidence in me this year to bring me up," Cordle said. "With Baas being banged up, that's what happened. So I'm very excited about it."
Cordle received the news from assistant general manager Kevin Abrams while working out on Tuesday, a players' day off. Away from his phone, Cordle was finally tracked down in the weight room, where Abrams told him the verdict. Cordle finished his workout, returned to dozens of calls, and had lunch with general manager Jerry Reese at the facility.
"(Reese) kind of had a smile on his face, sat down, and said, 'Are you ready to go?' I said 'Yeah.' Then we just talked football and Ohio State and everything," Cordle, a former Buckeye, said. "It was a pretty cool day."
That day turned to night, and his two roommates still hadn't heard the news, even with Cordle back home.
Then after a few hours, Cordle, on his computer, was sitting around watching TV with Pascoe and Ballard. He said he came across an article that mentioned the Giants had signed an offensive lineman off the practice squad – but not who.
"Me and Bear didn't think anything of it," said Ballard, who also played at Ohio State with Cordle.
"You don't have any idea?" Cordle asked them.
"Who did they bring up, Jimmy?" Ballard asked.
He told them.
"We were like, 'What the hell, man?'" Ballard said. "He just wanted it to be a surprise. We're happy for him. Hopefully things work out."
After his first practice as an active member on Wednesday, Cordle said it won't feel different until being with the team on Sunday while still taking his usual reps during the week. Spending all of his rookie season on the practice squad in 2010, Cordle stuck around because of his versatility, a necessary quality for the Giants.
"I can play all three spots inside and I've shown some stuff on kickoff return and then even snapping on field goals," Cordle said. "The more you can do, the better."
That sounds like a line taken out of the unofficial script for the Giants linemen – both past and present.
"When I first got here, all the veteran guys just took the young guys under their wings and just helped us out – more than I'd ever think going into it," Cordle said. "I'm just very grateful that I had those guys – (Shaun) O'Hara and (Rich) Seubert last year and (David) Diehl and (Chris) Snee this year. There's a tremendous leadership we have, and obviously they're great players."