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Report: Colts Free Agent Safety Malik Hooker to Visit the Dolphins on Tuesday

NFL: DEC 01 Titans at Colts Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Indianapolis Colts free agent safety Malik Hooker is visiting the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday:

With both Khari Willis and Julian Blackmon firmly entrenched as the Colts’ starters at safety—and having recently selected rookie Shawn Davis in the 5th round of the 2021 NFL Draft, it’s been pretty much a foregone conclusion that the former 2017 first round pick will be continuing his professional career elsewhere.

Hooker visited the Dallas Cowboys earlier this offseason.

During his 4-year career with the Colts, Hooker recorded 124 tackles (81 solo), a tackle for loss, 7 interceptions, 11 passes defensed, and two fumble recoveries in 35 career starts.

Unfortunately, Hooker’s Colts career was hindered by injuries, as he suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2017 and a torn Achilles in 2020 respectively—having never played a full 16 game season for Indianapolis (with other nagging injuries re-occurring).

Still, although he didn’t have the expected interception output as a highly touted glorified ‘Ed Reed ballhawk’ coming out of Ohio State, he showed flashes of his unique range and ball skills. He was arguably miscast a bit as a ‘Cover 2’ safety—when he may have been better featured as a single-high safety, ‘playing more free-lancing centerfield’ in other defensive schemes.

Hooker wasn’t overly aggressive with Indy, and it showed on the field.

That being said, the Colts value versatility and tackling in their secondary, and Hooker wasn’t particularly strong at either (although he was a better tackler than often credited for).

With the emergence of younger safeties such as Willis and Blackmon—and with his ongoing durability issues, the Colts were clearly poised to move on from Hooker this offseason (having already declined his 2021 team option ahead of last season).

We will wish him the best with Miami down in South Beach or wherever his next stop may be—as it’s unfortunate he never could quite break out with the Colts.