Former Seattle Seahawks LB Shaquem Griffin retires from NFL

Linebacker Shaquem Griffin announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday, writing for The Players’ Tribune that he looks forward to helping others as part of the NFL Legends community.

Griffin, whose left hand was amputated at age 4 due to congenital amniotic band syndrome, became the first player with one hand to be drafted in the modern era of the NFL when the Seattle Seahawks picked him in the fifth round in 2018 and reunited him with his Twin brother Shaquill, then left cornerback for the Seahawks.

The NFL congratulated Griffin on his retirement and tweeted that he was “a true inspiration.”

Lifted by the Seahawks in 2020, Shaquem Griffin said Wednesday that his brother stayed with him and skipped practice the next day. His biggest concern was how he would be perceived.

“I didn’t want people to think Oh, the one-hander cut himself. I don’t do sympathy, man. I don’t like it when people feel sorry for me,” he wrote. “But at no point did I ever think that was it for me in the NFL.”

Griffin, 27, was drafted into the Seahawks practice squad after being released and promoted to the Seattle active squad later that season. He appeared in 46 games over three seasons with the Seahawks and had nine tackles, three quarterback hits and a sack. Griffin also had a sack from Aaron Rodgers in the divisional round of the 2019 season, leading to a memorable moment where Shaquem defeated the Green Bay Packers quarterback just before Shaquill arrived and the brothers celebrated together afterwards.

He signed as a free agent with the Miami Dolphins last year but was released before the season. After that, he had tryouts with several other teams, but said Wednesday that he realized he only wanted to play in the NFL playing alongside his brother, who is now with the Jacksonville Jaguars after playing as a free last year agent signed.

“I trained for the Cardinals, the Titans and the Jets and then got calls from Buffalo, Dallas and Atlanta. But after that Jets workout, I realized something. All that traveling around, training for teams, trying to assert yourself somewhere – that wasn’t what I wanted. Football had already given me so much and the only thing I really wanted was to play with my brother again,” he wrote.

He said in his Players’ Tribune article: “Football was always plan B.”

Griffin said his father told him and his brother that “Plan A was to go to college, get an education and do something that would have a positive impact on the world.”

Griffin said he met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at the Super Bowl and received an invitation to join the NFL Legends community, and speaking with Goodell and other former players on the program, he realized the positive influence he was making on others may have .

“I know the positive effect I have on others,” he wrote. “I speak at colleges and universities, speak to football teams and even make presentations to American companies that you should never doubt yourself and never stop chasing your dreams. People in companies want to hear what I have to say, even though I’m the one who can learn so much from them. It’s crazy.”

Griffin thanked former UCF coach Scott Frost for giving him the opportunity to play for the Knights, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and his staff, and former Seahawks teammates such as Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright for the work they did Maintenance.

He saved his last thank you for his brother.

“We always said: We live in confusion.” That won’t change. I am still with you and living through you every time you step onto the field,'” he wrote.

“So hold on. Keep living this dream. We’ve been told countless times, and it’s still humbling when I hear it, that there should be a film about our journey together and what we’ve been through together, always inseparable. Maybe that day will come sooner rather than later,” he wrote. “But until then, I’m going to build something new so I can do what Dad always told us to do: leave the world better than we found it.”

“On to Plan A.”

ESPN’s Brady Henderson contributed to this report. Former Seattle Seahawks LB Shaquem Griffin retires from NFL

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