The Seahawks were truly blessed to have Shaquem Griffin on their roster. As of today, he’s retired from the playing field and moving on to his true calling.
There may be a few 12s wondering how I can refer to a player with just one career sack and one career pass defense as a legend. All I can say is, you must be new to the Seahawks family. Few players have ever been as inspiring as Shaquem Griffin. He was rarely used to his advantage as a player, so was underrated for his abilities on the field. Off the field, I can’t think of anyone that compares to him.
A bit of a refresher, for the three people that don’t remember the details. Shaquem Griffin came into the league the year after his brother, Shaquill Griffin. When the Seahawks drafted him in the fifth round, the story made headlines far beyond the typical fifth-round selection. It was a story of brothers reunited, and an NFL team looking beyond any perceived disability to focus on ability.
Griffin not only made the squad but earned a starting role in his first game in the league. Yes, he got the nod by default, as K.J. Wright was unable to play, but the Hawks had veterans who could step in. Yet they gave the nod to Griffin. Yeah, yeah, he didn’t keep the starting gig, but I maintain that his severe drop in playing time was due to the inability of Ken Norton Jr. to maximize his abilities. The Hawks never managed to find the right spot for Griffin.
Shaquem Griffin moving to Plan A should include the Seahawks
In his retirement announcement, Griffin emphasized that football was always Plan B. You can read his statement its entirety in The Player’s Tribune. Yes, there’s a paywall, but the site is absolutely worth your money. No, we’re not compensated for writing that. I’ll quote this bit from Mr. Griffin, regarding how he responded to being cut by the Seahawks in 2020.
"There’s this thing we used to always say in Seattle: “Be where your feet are.” It basically means to stay in the present and control what you can control. And after talking with my brother, I realized that it doesn’t matter what people think about me at all. The only thing that matters is how I respond to yet another obstacle and what I choose to do."
As the vast majority of 12s know, Shaquem Griffin played his way back from the practice squad that year. After Shaquill signed with the Jaguars in 2021, Shaquem signed with the Dolphins but was eventually cut. He tried out with several teams, but as he recounts in his retirement statement, he realized that he only wanted to play football if he could play with his brother. Shaquem realized it was time for “Plan A”.
Plan A, as noted in this piece on espn.com, was the real plan, and took precedence over football. The true plan was to get an education and make an impact on the world. There’s no doubt that Shaquem is well on his way to that through his numerous charitable works, like Citi’s #StareAtGreatness campaign. His latest opportunity comes by way of joining the NFL Legends Community. As the newest member, Griffin will aid both current and former players in everything from the transition away from the game to mental health issues.
We all know he’ll be a huge success in this new role. I only hope that he’ll have enough time to stop by Seattle and do some work with the Seahawks as well. More than ever, the Hawks could use some assistance. You’d have to be a stone if you couldn’t be motivated by Shaquem Griffin.