Shaquem Griffin, Former Seahawks and Dolphins Linebacker, Announces Retirement from NFL

by Dustin Schutte

After four seasons playing in the NFL, linebacker Shaquem Griffin announced his retirement. However, he doesn’t plan to step away from the league.

Griffin, the only known one-handed NFL player in history, announced his retirement in a post in The Players’ Tribune. The former standout at UCF spent three seasons playing with the Seattle Seahawks (2018-20) and spent time with the Miami Dolphins’ practice squad in 2021.

In his announcement, Griffin said he accepted a position within the NFL from commissioner Roger Goodell. He’ll join the NFL Legends Community, helping retired players and mentoring current and former players. It’s a move the former linebacker calls “Plan A.”

“Plan A, for me, was always to help people,” Griffin said, per “You know, not knowing how it was going to look, not knowing how it was going to come about, but I always want to pave that way to help anybody. My mom was somebody who always helped somebody and my dad kind of preached to us like, ‘Plan B is football. Plan A is what you need to focus on.”

Seattle selected Griffin in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He ends his NFL career with 25 total tackles and a sack.

Shaquem Griffin’s Rise to Stardom at UCF

Before hearing his name called at the NFL Draft in 2018, Griffin rose to prominence while at UCF. He was a critical member of a Knights team that finished the 2017 campaign with a perfect 13-0 record.

That season, Griffin made 74 stops, 13.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks. He earned second-team All-America honors and first-team All-AAC accolades.

Griffin closed out his outstanding college career with a tremendous Peach Bowl performance against Auburn. He tallied 12 tackles, 3.5 for loss and 1.5 sacks on the way to a 34-27 victory. He was named the Defensive MVP of the Peach Bowl.

In 2016, Griffin was named the AAC Defensive Player of the Year.

Though it’s difficult for Griffin to step away from playing the game he loves, he knows he can continue to make a huge impact off the field.

“I know the positive effect I’m having on others,” he wrote. “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.”