When Garett Bolles arrived at UCHealth Training Center to sign his new four-year contract extension, it wasn't quite the same as when he first arrived there in 2017 after the team drafted him.
He was not wearing a suit; instead he wore a mask. He did not enter the building either; he stayed outside as part of precautionary measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2017, he was joined by two people he holds close to his heart: his wife and their infant son, Kingston. On Saturday, they were with him again, Kingston now 3 years old and joined by baby sister Ariyah.
As Bolles signed the deal that will likely create years of security for him and his family, the move represented a recognition of the player he's become and is devoted to becoming, a true rock at left tackle and in the locker room as a leader. And in coming to an agreement before Bolles became a free agent, it also represented a testament to his loyalty to the team that's stood by him.
"I'm thankful for them," Bolles said Monday. "They drafted me and they took a chance on me when they didn't have to. I've had my bumps in the road over the last three years, but I know they continue to love and care for me and now they blessed me again for another four years."
Loyalty is something that he clearly values. The team's decision not to pick up his contract option earlier this year "hurt," Bolles said, but he simply turned that disappointment into fuel for his drive to become a better player.
The reward is this extension, which would keep him in Denver through 2024. The money is nice, but perhaps just as important is knowing that Kingston will be able to stay at the same school and that he'll continue to call Colorado home.
"I love everyone in this whole organization," Bolles said. "From the security staff to the cooks to the equipment staff to the training room, all the endless hours that they put in to make me successful and to make me the man I am today. I'm thankful for my teammates, each one of them. I love them dearly. I couldn't be where I'm at without them. The hardships that we had, the times that we win and lose together, but the friendships that I gained over the years—I'm very grateful for all them. So, shoutout to all them for making me better."
Below the Fold
As attention turns to the Week 13 game between the Broncos and Chiefs, Denver will find out Tuesday morning whether their quarterback situation can return to something resembling normal. "If they're negative again tomorrow then they're ready to rejoin as normal," Head Coach Vic Fangio said Monday.