Former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin is retiring from the NFL at the age of 27. Griffin, who was the first player with one hand to be drafted in the league’s modern era, announced his decision via a letter posted on The Players’ Tribune on Wednesday.
After the news became official, Griffin received congratulations from the NFL’s official Twitter page.
Griffin had his left hand amputated when he was four, but that never stopped him from pursuing a football career. After playing college football at UCF and earning a spot on Second-team All-American, among other honors, he was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. In Seattle, he reunited with twin brother Shaquill, whom the Seahawks drafted the year prior.
In the following three years, Shaquem Griffin played 46 games for the Seahawks and contributed 25 tackles, 1.0 sacks, and six QB hits. Griffin left Seattle in 2021 to join the Miami Dolphins but was cut before the season started. He has been without a team ever since.
In his The Players’ Tribune letter, Griffin explained that he worked out for a number of teams but ended up realizing landing just anywhere wasn’t the thing he wanted.
“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,” Griffin explained.
Griffin also shared that he now intends to get his college degree while also being part of the NFL Legends Community and continuing to make a positive impact.