As part of their NFLPA Union dues, NFL players contributed to a lockout fund. This pool of money was set aside for exactly this current scenario; it is made available to players who suited up each week during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Each of those players will receive $60,000 over a six week period. Cowboys defensive leader DeMarcus Ware said on Wednesday that he would pass up his lockout payment, so that the hundreds of 'little men' (by NFL standards of course) can help support their families during the time of no income.
During an appearance at Farine Elementary in Irving, TX, Ware announced his decision as follows.
"I think it builds a unity," said Ware, who is one of Dallas' player representatives, "and lets guys know there are players out there with you, who will give up their $60,000, that this is a brotherhood, this is a fraternity."
Ware is currently playing under a contract extension that will pay him $79 million, $40 million of it guaranteed. We all know Ware to be one of the more level-headed guys, so it's no surprise that he isn't one of the many NFL players that have over extended themselves. This report surfaced Tuesday that players from at least 16 NFL teams have secured short-term loans with high interest rates.
"There are a lot of people out there pitching these things," an attorney who has advised players on such loans told ThePostGame.com on the condition of anonymity. "It’s almost predatory lending. It's people going to guys who they know are already in debt, or don’t have the ability to pay their bills during the year and [lending them money] at such obscene terms, that you say, 'Hey, no one would ever sign something like this.' But a lot of players are."
I think it's probably a safe bet that this is a gross under-representation of just how many players didn't prepare like the Player's Association warned them to. Think of how many person-to-person loans might be going on unreported. This simple factor is probably the main reason the owners almost always win labor disputes. A lot of people do a poor job of financial management and live check-to-check, no matter how many places come before the decimal point. At least we know where our team leader is with his, that's the type of guy I want to have leading the troops onto the field.