Colts Rumors: Malik Hooker's 5th-Year Contract Option Declined by IND

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 4, 2020

Indianapolis Colts safety Malik Hooker (29) follows a play during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

The Indianapolis Colts declined the fifth-year option for safety Malik Hooker on Monday, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.

Hooker was the No. 15 overall pick of the 2017 draft and has started 33 of the 34 games he's played over the past three years in Indianapolis.

According to Spotrac, the option would have been worth $6.7 million in 2021, but the 24-year-old will now enter free agency following the 2020 campaign.

Four of the top five picks in the 2017 draft had their fifth-year options declined. Malik's fellow first-round safeties, Jamal Adams and Jabrill Peppers, were picked up for 2021. As a top-10 selection, Adams will make $9.86 million with his tag, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.

The Colts went in a different direction after Hooker finished eighth on the team last season with 51 tackles.

Hooker has seven interceptions in three years, but he allowed a 123.7 quarterback rating on 25 passes in his direction in 2019, per Pro Football Reference.

He will go into the final year of his rookie contract with a cap hit of $4 million, per Spotrac

Despite the contract decision, the Colts believe he will remain a significant factor in 2020.

"I'm really excited about expecting big things from him this year," head coach Frank Reich said, per Andrew Walker of the team's official site.