Colts decide not to exercise 5th-year option on Hooker

Sports

FILE – In this Dec. 29, 2019, file photo, Indianapolis Colts safety Malik Hooker (29) follows a play during the first half of the team’s NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts chose not to exercise the fifth-year option on safety Malik Hooker.

Team officials had until Monday afternoon to decide whether to use the option or allow Hooker to potentially become an unrestricted free agent after next season.

Hooker was Indy’s first-round draft pick in 2017, No. 15 overall, and has shown play-making ability during his first three NFL seasons.

But the Ohio State alum has also missed 14 of 48 games because of injuries and the fifth year would have become fully guaranteed if Hooker again suffered an injury.

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