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Indianapolis Colts declining fifth-year option on S Malik Hooker

Indianapolis Colts safety Malik Hooker (R) missed three games last season because of a torn meniscus. File Photo by Ed Locke/UPI
Indianapolis Colts safety Malik Hooker (R) missed three games last season because of a torn meniscus. File Photo by Ed Locke/UPI | License Photo

May 4 (UPI) -- The Indianapolis Colts are declining to pick up the fifth-year option on safety Malik Hooker.

ESPN and NFL Media confirmed the Colts' decision to not pick up the option Monday, meaning Hooker will be in a contract year this season. According to Spotrac, he is scheduled to make about $2.18 million in the fourth and final season of his rookie contract.

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Hooker, the No. 15 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, was the last player from the 2017 draft class to learn whether the option year of his rookie deal would be picked up. According to ESPN, he would have made about $7 million during the 2021 campaign if the Colts exercised the option.

In total, 17 players from the 2017 draft had their option picked up, 13 had them declined, one player -- Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey -- received a contract extension and another -- defensive lineman Taco Charlton -- was released.

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Hooker appeared in only seven regular-season games during his rookie season because of a torn ACL and MCL. The 24-year-old defensive back recovered quickly enough to play in a career-high 14 games in 2018, but injuries slowed him again last season.

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Hooker missed three games in 2019 due to a torn meniscus. In 13 games, he notched a career-best 51 total tackles to go along with two interceptions and three passes defensed.

Since entering the league, Hooker has recorded 117 total tackles, seven picks and 11 passes defensed in 34 career games.

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The Colts could potentially replace Hooker with Utah's Julian Blackmon this season. Indianapolis selected Blackmon in the third round of last month's NFL Draft.

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