Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin has announced his retirement from the sport that, he says, was always Plan B. Griffin was picked in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Seahawks and was the first player with only one hand to play in the league. The former linebacker had his left hand amputated due to amniotic band syndrome when he was only four.
Interestingly, when Shaquem joined the Seahawks, he got to play together with his twin brother, Shaquill, who was the team’s starting cornerback. The NFL said that Griffin showed the world that anything was possible and that he was a true inspiration for everyone.
Had a Sack of Aaron Rodgers
Shaquem Griffin never had it easy in the NFL but didn’t give up on his dream. When the Seahawks waived him in 2020, he said that he worried that people would feel sorry for him – something he hates.
Griffin said, “I don’t want people thinking, Aw, the one-handed player got cut.” However, the 27-year-old who, as he says, doesn’t do sympathy, didn’t give up on the NFL.
Griffin had his best seasons while playing alongside his twin brother in Seattle. He made 46 appearances in three seasons for the Seahawks and totaled nine tackles, a sack, and hit the opposition quarterback three times.
Griffin’s career highlight came when he sacked Aaron Rodgers and celebrated together with his brother. On that occasion, the Seahawks played against the Green Bay Packers in the 2019 divisional round and Shaquill was a bit quicker to get to the four-time NFL MVP than his brother.
Would Only Play with His Brother
After his three seasons with the Seahawks, Griffin joined the Miami Dolphins as a free agent and had tryouts with the Cardinals, the Jets, and the Titans. The player said that he also got calls from Atlanta, Dallas, and Buffalo.
It was during one of those tryouts that Griffin realized how all that traveling from one team to another wasn’t what he wanted. His only desire was to play with his brother, who now plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and if he couldn’t have that, he thought he might as well retire.
Education and College were Plan A
Another thing that’s interesting about Griffin is that for him “football was always Plan B.” That’s something his father told Shaquill and him. Plan A was for both of them to get an education, go to college and make a positive impact on society.
It seems like Griffin aced both Plan A and B because in addition to a playing career in the NFL he was also invited by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to join the NFL Legends Community.
In the Players’ Tribune, Griffin wrote about the positive impact he had on others, especially when it came to telling young people they should never doubt themselves and pursue their dreams.