All good things must come to an end.
The Seattle Seahawks released cornerback Shaquem Griffin on Saturday ahead of the NFL’s 53-man roster deadline, per Michael Shawn-Dugar of The Athletic.
The inspirational fifth-round pick in 2018 was fortunate to have played two seasons in Seattle alongside his identical twin brother, Shaquill Griffin, who he played with at UCF before both players were taken by the Seahawks in back-to-back years.
Shaquem became the first one-handed player drafted in the modern era of the NFL. He had his hand amputated when he was just four years old due to amniotic band syndrome, a condition that caused amniotic bands to wrap around Shaquem's left wrist, preventing his hand from developing normally.
In the Griffins' book Inseparable: How Family and Sacrifice Forged a Path to the NFL, Shaquem spoke about what it was like to overcome adversity as a limb-different player.
“It created grit for me to know that I can do anything I put my mind to and having my parents and my brother's there pushing me along every step of the way and not allowing me to create an excuse for myself, allowing me to be that competitor that I am today,” Shaquem Griffin told the TODAY show last July. “They taught me so much. My brother was right beside me every step of the way. Me and him going back and forth competing and everything we doing. And without my parents being there to say there’s no excuse, no limits for me, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Shaquem used his platform to make plays off the field, sharing his miraculous story and encouraging other limb-different individuals that they, too, can achieve anything if they put their minds to it.
Last year, Shaquem gifted 10-year-old Izzy Turkington a new pair of Össur running prosthetics while attending the fifth annual Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) Adaptive Sports Clinics at the Nike Global Headquarters in Beaverton.
“Now that I have the opportunity, now that I have this platform, I’m able to use it and share it with my brother, be able to see so many different kids and so many different people come out that’s lived their lives, lived their best life and be able to accomplish their goals and their life dreams,” Griffin said. “When you’re able to see that and see more of it, that means you’re doing something right."
During his two seasons in Seattle, Griffin recorded 16 tackles in 32 games. In his final game as a Seahawk, Griffin recorded a sack of Aaron Rodgers during Seattle's loss to Green Bay in the Divisional Round.
Shaquem will likely be in search of a new team, although there is still a possibility he may have a spot on the Seahawks practice squad.
His time in Seattle may be over, but the rest of Shaquem's story is far from written. If someone missing a hand can start in the NFL, anything is possible.
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Joel McHale]