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Dolphins hosting former first-round pick Malik Hooker for visit

The Miami Dolphins front office still isn’t done adding talent to the roster.

Miami Dolphins v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Free agency and the NFL Draft have come and gone, and we’re entering the dead summer months of the NFL calendar, but rest assured, Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier and head coach Brian Flores are taking no days off. Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Dolphins are hosting former Indianapolis Colts first-round draft pick Malik Hooker for a visit.

Hooker, 25, played four seasons at safety for the Colts and had his fifth-year option declined, making him a free agent this offseason. After tearing his Achilles in Week 2 of the 2020 season, teams were waiting for Hooker to get healthy before signing him to a contract. It appears his first visit is with the Dolphins. As of the publishing of this article, no details regarding a potential contract offer have been released.

Hooker was drafted by the Colts out of Ohio State back in 2017. He was the second safety selected in that class (behind Jamal Adams) and was expected to be a foundational piece of Indianapolis’ defense. He ended up started six games in his rookie season and played well out of the gate before tearing both his ACL and MCL in Week 7. That first major injury ended up being an indicator of things to come, as the former Buckeye has struggled to stay healthy for much of his career despite routinely displaying the potential that made him such a coveted prospect. Hooker battled several minor injuries in 2018 and 2019 and then ultimately played just two games in 2020 before suffering a torn Achilles last September.

In four seasons, Hooker has played a total of 36 games (35 starts) and has accumulated 124 total tackles, 11 passes defended, 7 interceptions, and 2 fumble recoveries. If he signs with Miami, Hooker will be joining a secondary that already boasts a strong group of safeties in veterans Bobby McCain and Eric Rowe, 2021 second-round draft pick Javon Holland, and 2020 third-round draft pick Brandon Jones, as well as starting cornerbacks Xavien Howard (a 2020 First-Team All-Pro) and Byron Jones.

Given the potential surrounding Holland and Jones, McCain has been mentioned as a post-June 1st cut candidate due to the cap savings Miami’s front office could reap in releasing itself of the veteran leader’s contract. With the team ready to make a playoff push, however, that possibility is far from a certainty. Either way, adding a talent like Hooker would make an already dangerous secondary even deeper and more formidable.

This article was written by The Phinsider Staff Writer, Justin Hier. For more from Justin, be sure to follow him on Twitter @HierJustin.