Former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin, who had his left hand amputated at age 4, announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday.
Griffin wrote for The Players Tribune that he intends to help others working with the NFL Legends Community.
“Football was always Plan B,” Griffin wrote. “My dad used to tell me and my brother that. As kids we had dreamed of playing together in the NFL, but whenever we talked about it, our dad would remind us that if we made it to the league — especially if we got to play together — that would be an added blessing. A bonus. Plan A was to go to college, get an education and do something that would make a positive impact in the world.”
Griffin, 27, was a fifth-round pick of the Seahawks in 2018 and reunited him with his twin brother, Shaquill, who was Seattle’s starting cornerback. Shaquem Griffin went on to play in 46 regular-season games with the Seahawks over three seasons.
He started the first game of his career in 2018 against Denver. His most famous individual moment was teaming with his brother on a sack of Aaron Rodgers during a 2019 playoff game in Green Bay.
Shaquem Griffin was cut by the Seahawks before the start of the 2020 season, but was signed to the practice squad and eventually appeared in 14 games.
Shaquem Griffin signed with Miami before the 2021 season but was cut. His brother had signed with Jacksonville as a free agent.
“The Dolphins cut me before the 2021 season,” he wrote. “I worked out for the Cardinals, the Titans and the Jets, and then I got calls from Buffalo, Dallas and Atlanta. But after that Jets workout, I realized something. All this traveling around, working out for teams, trying to catch on somewhere, trying to hang on — it wasn’t what I wanted. Football had already given me so much, and the only thing I still really wanted from the game was to play with my brother again.
“So I told my agent, Buddy Baker, thank you for grinding and bringing me these opportunities. But unless it’s Jacksonville, I’m good.”
Griffin wrote that he spoke with Commissioner Roger Goodell at a brunch during Super Bowl week in Los Angeles last season and prompted the decision to join the NFL Legends Community, the league’s official program connecting former players with their teams and the league.
“That experience and that invitation from the commissioner locked me in and led me to the decision I had to make,” Griffin wrote. “The time has come for me to retire from professional football. It’s time for me to execute my Plan A.”
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