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Ray Rice: If signed, 2016 salary would go to domestic violence programs

Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice says he would donate his entire 2016 salary to charity if signed by an NFL team this season.

Rice, out of football since 2014 after being suspendedat the start of that season for domestic violence, told USA Today that any money he earned would go toward programs combating that issue.

"All the scrutiny that I've got, it was deserved, because domestic violence is a horrible thing," Rice said in a story posted on the USA Today website.

"Me donating my salary is something that'll be from the heart for me. I only want to play football so I can end it the right way for my kids and for the people that really believed in me. But I know there's a lot of people affected by domestic violence, and every dollar helps. It's raising awareness.

"People need homes. People need shelter when they're in a crucial situation. I've donated a lot of money to charities, but I had a situation where it was a national crisis. I'm not saying I'd be (donating the salary) to get on the field, but it's something that will show where my heart is. My heart is about finishing the right way and helping people along the way."

The 29-year-old Rice played six seasons for Baltimore. He ran for 6,180 yards and 37 TDs.

But the three-time Pro Bowler was suspended indefinitely by the NFL in September 2014 and was released by the Ravens when a video surfaced of him punching his then-fiancee in an elevator. His suspension was later overturned by a neutral arbitrator.

According to USA Today, the minimum salary for a seventh-year player such as Rice would be $885,000.

Earlier this month, Rice told NJ.com that the window for his return to the NFL is closing but that he wouldn't be discouraged if he never played again.

"I don't want to ever say I'm giving up, because that's never going to be me,'' Rice told the website. "I'm happy. I'm in the best shape of my life, and I know if it doesn't happen this year, it's probably something I have to deal with. But you know what? It's not the end of my life.

"I know that the window for playing is closing. But if my window closes, I'm going to make sure I open up a thousand more opportunities for kids, to give them an opportunity to pick up where I left off. That's where I'm at. I've got three Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl. There's a lot of people that can't go out there and do what I did. But I don't want it to end that way, it's safe to say.''

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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