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John Randle
Defensive Tackle
Jersey #(s)
Born December 12, 1967 (1967-12-12) (age 42)
Hearne, Texas
Career information
Year(s) 19902003
Undrafted in 1990
College Texas A&I
Professional teams
Career stats
Tackles 556
Sacks 137.5
Interceptions 1
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

John Randle (born December 12, 1967 in Hearne, Texas) is a former NFL defensive tackle who played for the Minnesota Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks. Born in Hearne, Texas, Randle was raised poor, and worked odd jobs when he was young. His brother Ervin Randle played as a linebacker for eight years. Randle started his college playing career at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas, before transferring to Texas A&I University–Kingsville. He currently lives in Medina, Minnesota with his wife and children.

Randle went undrafted, but the 6'1" 287-Lbs defensive linemen was picked up by the Vikings during training camp, playing his first season in 1990. He went to his first Pro Bowl in 1993 after recording 11.5 sacks, and was quickly becoming one of the dominant defensive tackles of his era. Once Henry Thomas left the Vikings, Randle increased his training regimen, and became well known for his disarming on-field heckling of opposing players. Randle would record double digit sacks during eight different seasons, including a career-high and league-leading 15.5 sacks in 1997. He had an ongoing rivalry with Packers quarterback Brett Favre, whom he sacked more than any other quarterback; Favre said that Randle was the toughest defensive player he faced and "on artificial turf he's unblockable". To play off the rivalry with Brett Favre, Randle starred in a commercial which featured himself sewing a miniature version of Favre's #4 jersey which he put on a live chicken. The commercial then showed Randle chasing the chicken around what was supposed to be Randle's backyard and ended with Randle cooking chicken on his BBQ, leading to fierce protests from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Like fellow Minnesota Viking Chris Hovan, Randle was known for eccentric face painting as well as trash talking on the field. [1]

At the end of the 2000 season, Randle signed with the Seattle Seahawks, and retired in March 2004. He had planned to retire a year earlier, but Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren convinced him to stay one more year.

Randle left the NFL tied with Richard Dent for 5th in number of career sacks, and his 137.5 career sacks is the most by a defensive tackle in NFL history. Over his career he was named to seven Pro Bowl squads. He was named All Tackle Machine of 1999 by Tackle The Magazine.

Randle was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame and inducted into the Minnesota Vikings Ring of Honor in 2008. He is eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame starting in 2009.


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