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DeMarcus Ware decides not to take his lockout payout

Kevin Kolb, DeMarcus Ware

Dallas Cowboys’ DeMarcus Ware (94) returns a fumble by Philadelphia Eagles’ Kevin Kolb (4) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011, in Philadelphia. Ware scored a touchdown on the return. (AP Photo/Miles Kennedy)


As of Friday, eligible players can receive up to $60,000 in lockout fund payments. The money was accumulated over two NFL seasons, via union dues and withheld licensing fees.

Of course, the money does little to help the players who’ll need it the most, like the incoming rookies who have no lockout fund -- and no other income until the lockout ends. For guys who have cashed in via big-money deals, the lockout payout is negligible.

As a result, Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware is the first player to publicly acknowledge that he’ll accept none of the money.

“We have $60,000 that is supposed to be paid to us,” Ware told Clarence E. Hill, Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I gave my money back to help out other guys that don’t have as much money. That is going to help out and bring us closer together.”

Ware signed in 2009 seven-year, $79 million contract, which included a $20 million signing bonus and $40 million guaranteed.

Other players who have cashed in -- including the three big-name quarterbacks whose names have been attached to the antritrust lawsuit that goes to mediation today -- should donate that money to help younger players who truly need the money.