In what would be his final year with the Minnesota Vikings, Kirk Cousins' 2023 season was cut short due to an Achilles injury suffered in Week 8. Even though he'll be 36 before the 2024 season begins and just tore his Achilles six months ago, Cousins was one of the top free agent quarterbacks this offseason.

He landed with the Atlanta Falcons, who took out their checkbook to sign him to a four-year, $180 million contract. Since signing the most lucrative free-agent deal, Cousins' recovery has progressed and the team is noting the positive improvements.

Last week, Cousins was throwing during the team's offseason program, which showed that his recovery is in full swing. Falcons head coach Raheem Morris commented on Cousins' status and how much of the program he's able to participate in. 

"Kirk is every day improving," Morris said Friday in his press conference. "[With] nobody around him, there's no contact -- he's all good with all those type of things. He's been doing all those things, he's been throwing, he's been out there pretty much full-go."

Morris says Cousins is able to take part in most of Phase 2 of the offseason program. Phase 2 is three weeks and has no live contact or "team offense vs. team defense drills." It includes on-field workouts, drills and walkthroughs of offensive and defensive players lining up across each other. 

The head coach admitted they are still being cautious, and noted these workouts fit well with where Cousins is in his recovery.

"Now, we got him in a limited basis, obviously because he's still in his rehab and his treatment and all those types of things. But he'll be doing a lot of the things when we get back because we still won't have a lot of people in the pocket. Most of the stuff is jog-through, as you guys know in the offseason programs now," Morris said. "So, he's full-go in those types of things. 

"We'll limit what he does as far as the amount, not necessarily what he's doing when it comes to what we're at, and what we're able to do right now. It's not like training camp where I'm worried about people being around his feet, because the pace is so [much] slower that we feel really good about where he's at right now."

Cousins says he will be "full speed" when training camp begins and team activities ramp up. If he does not end up ready, or is not able to stay healthy, the Falcons have made sure to have quarterback insurance. Atlanta surprisingly drafted quarterback Michael Penix Jr. at No. 8, saying they wanted security for the future.

While it is not the obvious move, getting a top-10 backup for an aging quarterback coming off an Achilles injury could end up paying off.