ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - The Denver Broncos’ trip to the White House next week holds special meaning for one player in particular
The Super Bowl champions will visit the White House on Monday and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas plans to deliver a hand-written thank-you note to President Barack Obama for commuting his mother’s drug sentence last summer.
Katina Smith was able to attend the Broncos’ 24-10 win over Carolina in Super Bowl 50 four months ago after Obama cut short her sentence as part of his push to reduce the prison population of non-violent drug offenders.
“I don’t know if I’ll say something to him. I might give him a letter,” said Thomas, who figures it’s going to be a quick meet-and-greet and the president won’t have much time to chat with the champs. “There’s going to be a lot of people there, so I can’t waste his time.”
Thomas’ mother was released five years early from a minimum-security prison in Florida. She had been serving a 20-year sentence after refusing to testify against her mother, Minnie Pearl Thomas, who is serving life.
The Broncos won their third Lombardi Trophy in February when they defeated NFL MVP Cam Newton and the Panthers behind Von Miller’s two sack-strips that led to both of Denver’s touchdowns.
All three titles have come under John Elway’s leadership, two of them during his Hall of Fame playing career. He built the latest title team as its general manager.
Elway spent the offseason retooling his offense after Peyton Manning retired and he’s trying to reach a long-term contract extension with his star defender, Miller.
Manning will be among the contingent of 100 or so that flies out Monday morning to Washington. The Broncos will return that night because their mandatory minicamp begins Tuesday.
Quarterback Brock Osweiler, who joined the Houston Texans 48 hours after Manning’s retirement, declined Denver’s invitation to join the party. He issued a statement through his new team saying, “due to a scheduled OTA in Houston I feel it is important to be at practice with my new teammates. It’s a new offensive system for me and every practice and rep is extremely important.”
He added: “I am very appreciative of the Broncos wanting to include me on this special day.”
The Broncos begin their title defense Sept. 8 when they host the Panthers to kick off the 2016 season.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/arniestapleton
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