NFL linebacker Shaquem Griffin, the league's first one-handed player of the modern era, announced his retirement in an article published on the Players' Tribune Wednesday.
Griffin, 27, who had his left hand amputated due to amniotic band syndrome at the age of 4, revealed that he plans to work with the NFL Legends Community in an effort to positively impact others alongside other retired players.
"I know the positive effect I'm having on others," Griffin wrote in the Players' Tribune. "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."
Griffin was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, reuniting with his twin brother and former University of Central Florida teammate, Shaquill Griffin, who played cornerback for the franchise at the time.
The former UCF standout recorded 25 tackles, one tackle for loss, and one sack in 46 career games, which included one start at linebacker during his rookie season in 2018.
Griffin was initially waived by the Seahawks on September 5, 2020, but signed to the team's practice squad the following day and later elevated to the active roster ahead of Seattle's Week 3 game against the Dallas Cowboys, before once again being reverted back to the practice after the game and again promoted on October 2, 2020.
Griffin signed a one-year contract with the Miami Dolphins in July 2021 but was waived one month later, re-signed to the team's practice squad, and later released on October 19.
"I didn't want people thinking, Aw, the one-handed player got cut. I don't do sympathy, man. I don't like people feeling sorry for me," Griffin wrote, referring to playing in the league as "Plan B" in the Players' Tribune article. "But at no point did I ever think that that was it for me in the NFL."
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