Former Vikings QB Clarifies Rant

Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback and current Cincinnati Bengals signal-caller Jake Browning raged at a cameraman on December 16th, 2023. He yelled that the Vikings "never should have cut him," when those responsible for his 2021 release have no affiliation with the Vikings. Cincinnati won the game 27-24.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jake Browning produced a prototypical “revenge game” last Saturday, knocking off the team that discovered him via undrafted free agency 2.5 years ago.

Former Vikings QB Clarifies Rant

The Bengals downed the Vikings 27-24 in Week 15, and as that victory transpired, Browning found a live camera and screamed his resentments.

Vikings QB Clarifies
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jake Browning (6) prepares to take the snap in the first quarter of a Week 15 NFL football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Cincinnati Bengals, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati. © Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK.

And while it was neat for Browning to score a victory over the team that unearthed him in 2021, the rant didn’t make much sense. Some combination of Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman released Browning, and neither works for the Vikings and has not for about two years. Browning was yelling at ghosts.

“Should have never f–king cut me,” Browning raged at a Paycor Stadium cameraman on Saturday.

Browning, without the dander, elaborated later, “There was definitely a little extra part to this game. I remember getting cut there by Minnesota the last time and just being told, ‘Hey, we might have a spot for you on the practice squad. Go to the hotel and wait.'”

“So, I sat in the hotel for a couple of hours, not knowing if I had a job or not, and just basically got a call from my agent. They didn’t tell me. I had been there for two years. I’ve been cut my fair share of times, and that was probably the crappiest one,” Browning explained.

QB Regrets Seething
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jake Browning (6) drops back to throw in the fourth quarter of a Week 15 NFL football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Cincinnati Bengals, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Bengals won 27-24 in overtime. © Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Fast forward to a few days after the win, rant, and initial explanation, Browning sang a different tune. He apologized for making the game about himself, “You keep it all pent up, and then it comes out. But I guess my biggest regret was that game turned into like my revenge game when, in reality, there were so many things that went into getting that win.”

The Bengals own an 8-6 record, inhabiting the sixth seed inside the AFC’s evolving playoff picture.

“Making sure it’s acknowledged it wasn’t just my revenge game, it was a great team win. It’s never as good, never as bad as you thought. And we played unbelievable at a lot of positions that weren’t quarterback, and so, just to rattle off a few,” Browning mused on Tuesday.

Jake Browning
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Browning has played remarkably well in the last three games, and if the spree continues, Cincinnati can reach the postseason without Joe Burrow, who was lost for the season in November to a wrist injury.

Browning concluded, “I threw a pick in minus territory in the fourth quarter, that turns into three points. That’s losing the game type of play if our defense doesn’t swell up. Lose D.J. Reader, who is an All-Pro level nose guard, in the first quarter, and then we stuff them on third-and-short, fourth-and-inches. That’s another one we lose the game if they don’t do that.”

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jake Browning (6) calls a play during the third quarter of a regular season NFL football matchup Monday, Dec. 4, 2023 at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. The Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 34-31 in overtime. © Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY NETWORK.

So, while he didn’t acknowledge the oddity of shrilling about men who no longer work for the Vikings, Browning became self-conscious about the me-first nature of his comments.

Browning is scheduled to become a free agent in 2.5 months.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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