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Colts declining safety Malik Hooker's fifth-year option

In Indianapolis, a decision before the deadline: Malik Hooker will be a free agent following the 2020 season.

The Colts are declining to exercise the former first-round safety's fifth-year option, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday, less than nine hours before the deadline to exercise options is scheduled to pass.

Indy's conclusion comes less than two weeks after the 2020 draft, during which the Colts were reportedly listening to trade offers for the safety.

Hooker, the 15th overall selection in the 2017 draft, missed half of his rookie season but has been a staple of Indy's defense ever since. In three seasons, Hooker has made 33 starts, logged 11 passes defensed and two fumble recoveries and intercepted seven passes.

The safety will make $2.18 million in the fourth and final season of his rookie deal, in what now will be a contract year.

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