Jake Browning thinks he's proven he's a starter: "I'm one of the top 32 quarterbacks"

After losing quarterback Joe Burrow for the season, the Bengals remained surprisingly competitive with backup Jake Browning at the helm. And as a result of that, Browning believes he shouldn't be a backup going forward.

Browning said after Sunday's season finale that he thinks he should be a starter, even though he knows it won't happen in Cincinnati, where the job is Burrow's.

"I've established that I'm capable of being a starter in the NFL," Browning said. "I'm one of the Top 32 quarterbacks in the world and just happen to be on a roster with a guy who's proven he's a Top 5 quarterback in the world."

Browning is an exclusive-rights free agent, which means the Bengals could keep him with a league-minimum salary in 2024, or they could trade him to another team. Browning acknowledged that it's not up to him where he plays next season.

"What that looks like going forward I have no idea, nor do I have any control," Browning said.

Browning played well this year, but he's more likely to spend another year as Burrow's backup than to get a starting job in 2024. If he's one of the 32 best quarterbacks in the NFL, it's probably going to be a while before he can prove it.