Russell Wilson

Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson throws against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DENVER — There’s a line in Harvey Penick’s timeless "Little Red Book" that can be applied to just about everything — like everything else in Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book — and it works for the Broncos. 

If you could improve your weaknesses, you would improve your (golf) game. The irony is that people prefer to practice their strengths.

Part of me wonders if the Broncos awarding $90 million to a pair of wide receivers over the weekend was practicing their strengths. Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick are good players, and good players are good to have, but isn’t keeping both ignoring team weaknesses?

Or maybe George Paton is not ignoring his team’s weaknesses. Maybe he’s making the strengths more attractive to a player who would immediately fix his team’s glaring weakness.

Maybe he’s saying, Hey, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, check out these fun weapons.

Come hang.

The Broncos host the Chargers on Sunday, and Sutton and Patrick should handle the check at ChopHouse after the game. Then call an Uber and roll around on a mattress of cash at home. By my math, if these two guys were on their new contracts now, Sutton would be making $207,934 per catch, Patrick $179,650 per catch. That’s a lot of cash for a catch here and there.

That's also a ton of cash to pay two wide receivers when wide receiver is the singular position on a field that depends on another position to be worth a darn. And the other position, quarterback, is really expensive.

This isn’t meant to be a referendum on Courtland and Tim. Like I was saying, they’re good players. CBS Sports had a cool tweet on Thanksgiving, pointing out Sutton and Patrick rank 1-2 in in the NFL in most targets without a drop. Shoot, I lobbied for the Broncos to sign Patrick to an early extension, and one of Sutton’s first moves as an NFL player was to ship his fishing rods to Denver. That's a guy who gets it. But for that kind of money they need the ball more often.

Courtland and Tim could be the next Demaryius and Emmanuel. Or they could be the next Ed and Rod. Or they could be the next Eddie Royal and Brandon Marshall and require both names, in part because there’s not a quarterback in place to guarantee them first-name-only status.

Here, think of it this way: Sutton’s had nine passes thrown to him in the past three games. That’s three targets per game, which equals the average number of field goal attempts by Brandon McManus in that time. McManus even scored! Sutton hasn’t scored in over a month.

What I’m saying is the Broncos need a serious quarterback to make this money well-spent.

Throw in Jerry Jeudy, and that caliber of trio for the next three years is a serious carrot for a QB.

Paton is a smart man and denied he’s setting the table for a blockbuster trade or something.

“No, we’re just trying to get better as a football team and win games,” the new guy said.

The Packers and Seahawks would have to trade Rodgers and Wilson after this season, so it's a different scenario than, say, the late-career moves of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. But  given the quarterbacks' history of petty, I doubt the Packers or Seahawks send franchise icons to places they don’t want to go. They’d never hear the end of it. Paton’s in position for a blockbuster trade or something. Maybe that’s what paying two wide receivers was all about.

The other day I was invited to speak at The Tattered Cover bookstore near Coors Field. They were short on guests and correctly assumed I had nothing else to do. They asked for three favorite sports books, and after too much deliberation here’s what I offered: “Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book,” “A Season on the Brink,” and everything written by John Gierach.

This book would not make the list, but only because there are too many sports books to love: “A Season in the Sun.” Author Lars Anderson recounted how forever loser Tampa Bay landed forever winner Tom Brady in free agency. Turns out, Handsome Tom did not go to Florida because the state government is free of harmful control freaks, or he sought to prove a point outside Bill Belichick's watch. He went to the Buccaneers, according to the book, in part because the Buccaneers had a pair of gifted wide receivers and a defense that played well over the final stretch of the previous year.

Note to Broncos defense: play well over the final stretch.

The book says Brady asked the Bucs about their gifted wide receivers, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin: “Are they good guys?”

The Broncos should hope the next quarterback asks about Tim Patrick and Courtland Sutton, because they are also good guys. Plus, there's Jeudy, who doesn’t get the ball much but seems nice. Now they need a quarterback who can make these huge investments make sense.

Maybe that’s Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers. Come hang.

(Contact Gazette sports columnist Paul Klee at or on Twitter at @bypaulklee.)

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