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Dolpins sign Shaquem Griffin to one-year contract

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Miami Dolphins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins have signed free agent linebacker Shaquem Griffin to a one-year contract, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. The move comes after reports earlier in the day the team was hosting the former Seattle Seahawks linebacker on a visit. The Dolphins add Griffin just before training camp opens early next week.

Griffin played in 46 games over three years with the Seahawks, starting one time, with 25 career tackles, one pass defensed, and one sack. While he never played more than ten percent of the defensive snaps in a season for Seattle, he was a key contributor on special teams for the club, a role which could transfer to Miami.

Born in St. Petersburg, Florida, Griffin was a defensive star at UCF, where he played with his twin brother, Shaquill. Griffin was named the 2018 Peach Bowl Defensive MVP and the 2016 American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year. After his college career and running the fastest 40-year dash time ever for a linebacker at the NFL Scouting Combine (4.38 seconds), Griffin was selected in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, reuniting him with Shaquill in Seattle.

The Denver Broncos brought Griffin in for a try-out at last month’s veteran minicamp, but chose to not sign him at the time.

Griffin was born with amniotic band syndrome affecting his left hand, leading to an amputation when he was four. When the Seahawks selected him, he became the first one-handed player ever picked in the NFL Draft.

In Miami, Griffin joins an already deep linebacker group. The Dolphins could look to have him serve in a backup role behind inside linebacker Jerome Baker and Benardrick McKinney, but Griffin is more of an outside linebacker where he likely will serve as depth behind Andrew Van Ginkel and rookie Jaelan Phillips. His play on special teams could lead to a direct position battle with Sam Eguavoen, the incumbent backup linebacker/special teams ace.