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Seahawks LB Shaquem Griffin Announces NFL Retirement After 4 Seasons

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 24, 2022

Shaquem Griffin (Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

Former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin announced his retirement from football Wednesday after a four-year NFL career.

Griffin wrote in The Players' Tribune he's accepted an offer from commissioner Roger Goodell to become part of the NFL Legends Community, which was originally made at a meeting during Super Bowl week in February:

"I'm sitting at that fancy hotel having brunch with the commissioner and he's telling me he'd love to have me as part of the Legends Program. I look around the room and see all these vets—these old-school Legends who've been around forever—and I'm thinking, 'Man, I'm 27. I'd be the youngest Legend in the room.'
"And then the moment I knew that I had to say yes was when I was sitting with the commissioner and a few other guys, and we were just talking about football, rule changes—normal stuff. Then, the conversation shifted. We started talking about what's happening on the streets in Chicago and how those communities are suffering. Guys started throwing out ideas on how we could help. How we could maybe improve people's lives and make a real positive impact. And I was thinking, 'These are the kinds of conversations I want to be a part of."
NFL @NFL

LB Shaquem Griffin announces retirement from the NFL after four-year career. <a href="https://t.co/QgfgLBQGS7">pic.twitter.com/QgfgLBQGS7</a>

Griffin was selected by the Seahawks in the fifth round of the 2018 draft, one year after his twin brother, Shaquill, was also drafted by Seattle.

The linebacker had his left hand amputated at age four.

"If you're reading this, you probably already know my story," Griffin wrote. "The one-handed linebacker with the twin brother. The guy a lot of people thought couldn't play in college and said would never make it to the NFL because nobody with only one hand had ever done that before."

The 27-year-old Florida native emerged as a special teams contributor and defensive reserve across three years with the Hawks. He recorded 25 total tackles, one sack and a pass defended in 46 appearances for Seattle.

He signed with the Miami Dolphins last July and spent about half the 2021 season on the team's practice squad before getting released in October.

Griffin explained he received interest from other teams but told his agent the only reason he'd want to play again would be with his brother, who's now with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"All this traveling around, working out for teams, trying to catch on somewhere, trying to hang on—it wasn't what I wanted," he wrote. "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."

The UCF product added it's "a little surreal" to walk away from football, but he's already seeing the impact he can have on the lives of people:

"But I know the positive effect I'm having on others. I'm speaking at colleges and universities, talking to football teams and even presenting to corporate America about never doubting yourself and tirelessly pursuing your dreams. People at companies want to hear what I have to say when actually I'm the one that can learn so much from them. It's crazy."

Now he'll work with the NFL Legends Community, which was launched in 2013 with the goal of connecting former players with "each other, their former teams and the league."

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