After meeting with him earlier in the day, the Miami Dolphins are are signing former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin to a one-year deal, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Griffin brings a veteran presence to a Dolphins' position group that lost outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy during the offseason.
Griffin had been available on the open market for months after the Seahawks declined to extend a qualifying offer to him as a restricted free agent. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported earlier this offseason that multiple teams were interested in signing Griffin, who appeared in 46 games during his three seasons in Seattle.
Griffin, whose brother Shaquill is a former Pro Bowl cornerback who signed with the Jaguars this offseason, was born with amniotic band syndrome, which led to part of his left arm being amputated when he was a child. An inspiration to many, Griffin starred at the University of Central Florida, where he was a three-year starter at linebacker. His success at UCF led to him being a fifth-round pick in the 2018 draft. During his first two seasons in Seattle, Griffin recorded 16 tackles while not missing a single game. Griffin's biggest NFL moment came in the 2019 playoffs, when he recorded a sack of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers during Seattle's divisional round playoff loss.
Griffin started the 2020 season on the Seahawks' practice squad but was activated to the 53-man roster prior to the Seahawks' Week 3 win over the Cowboys. In 14 games, Griffin recorded nine tackles (six solo) and three quarterback hits. He also recorded his first career regular season sack, which occurred against then-Jets quarterback Sam Darnold during Seattle's Week 14 win.
The Dolphins' linebacker corps currently includes Griffin, Jerome Baker, Andrew Van Ginkel, newcomer and former Pro Bowler Benardrick McKinney, and rookie first-round pick Jaelan Phillips. Baker and Van Ginkel's play last season helped the Dolphins' defense finish first in third down efficiency, second in fewest touchdown passes allowed and sixth in scoring. The success of the Dolphins' defense played an integral role in Miami posting a 10-6 record during coach Brian Flores' second season with Miami.