Colts Will Not Exercise Malik Hooker's Fifth-Year Option

Facing today's deadline, the Indianapolis Colts have decided not to exercise safety Malik Hooker’s fifth-year option for the 2021 season. Hooker, the Colts’ first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, has played in 34 total games over three seasons, and has seven interceptions and 11 passes defensed.

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INDIANAPOLIS — Facing today's deadline, the Indianapolis Colts have decided not to exercise safety Malik Hooker's fifth-year option for the 2021 season.

By virtue of being a first-round pick — he was Indy's 15th-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft — Hooker faced the possibility of having a fifth year added to his rookie contract that would be fully guaranteed for injury, but the Colts decided today to instead let Hooker ride out the fourth and final year on his current deal.

Hooker, 24, has played in 34 total games with 33 starts in his first three seasons with the Colts. He was off to a fast start his rookie season — nabbing three interceptions in his first seven games — before suffering a season-ending knee injury Week 7 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Since that time, Hooker has played in 27 of a possible 32 regular season games over the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Over his three years with the Colts, he has combined to collect 117 total tackles (one for a loss) with seven interceptions, 11 passes defensed and two fumble recoveries.

Last season, Hooker played in 13 games and had 51 total tackles (one for a loss) with two interceptions, three passes defensed and one fumble recovery.

Moving forward, Colts head coach Frank Reich, speaking to the media today via video conference, said he's "really excited and expecting big things" from Hooker in 2020.

"In '18, Malik was coming off that injury and got better as the year went on. Last year, I really felt like Malik had a really good year. You could really feel his presence. Physically, I felt Malik's presence on the field," Reich said. "Malik is not the most outgoing, bubbly personality (but) he's got a lot of juice and intensity in him and I think you really saw that come out last year when he was healthy, when he started playing real physical and making plays on the ball."

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