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Super Bowl Champion Patriots To Visit White House, President Trump

BOSTON (CBS) -- Wednesday is a big day for the New England Patriots. Most of them, at least.

It's the day when the Super Bowl LI champions will be honored at the White House, the first professional sports team to do so under President Donald Trump.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady announced early Wednesday that he would not be attending the ceremony, citing family reasons. But head coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft are expected to be front and center, as their personal connections to President Trump have been well documented over the past year.

Brady joins a list of at least six members of the defending champs won't be attending New England's visit to the White House, with many of the other players citing political reasons for skipping the ceremonies.

A pair of former Patriots in Martellus Bennett (now a member of the Green Bay Packers) and Chris Long (who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles) will also not be joining their former teammates on Wednesday.

For the Patriots organization, a trip to the Rose Garden is nothing new. It will be Belichick and Kraft's fifth visit with the Patriots, and the fourth for Brady, who skipped New England's 2015 visit when President Barack Obama was in office, citing a family commitment.

The Pats were honored by President George W. Bush on three different occasions during his eight years in office, giving him a jersey each time. They also gave President Bush a hoodie sweatshirt following during their visit in 2005.

New England Patriots Honored In 2005
President George W. Bush honors the Patriots at the White House on April 2, 2002. Bush was presented with a Patriots Jersey by Patriots owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick. (Photo credit: Luke Frazza/AFP/Getty Images)
New England Patriots Honored In 2005
President George W. Bush poses for photographers with members of New England Patriots during a Rose Garden event to honor the Super Bowl Champions April 13, 2005 at the White House. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
New England Patriots Honored In 2005
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick presents President George W. Bush with a hooded sweatshirt during a Rose Garden event to honor the Super Bowl Champion on April 13, 2005 at the White House. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick speaks while President Barack Obama welcomes the New England Patriots to the White House in April 2015. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

It'll be interesting to see what President Trump has to say about the Super Bowl Champs on Wednesday.

The Patriots will not be visiting the Walter Reed Military Medical Center during their time in Washington D.C., but will instead welcome a group of patients to lunch and have them join them on their trip to the White House.

Stick with CBSBoston.com all day for updates from the visit, as well as WBZ-TV's Dan Roche and 98.5 The Sports Hub's Jim Murray on Twitter..

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