John Randle, a Little All-America from Texas A&I, signed a contract as an undrafted free agent with the Minnesota Vikings in 1990. He played in all 16 games as a rookie before he earned a starting role at defensive tackle in his second season.
Injuries forced him out of the starting lineup for parts of the 1991 and 1992 seasons before embarking on an impressive streak of 176 consecutive games played and 133 straight starts with the Vikings. After joining the Seattle Seahawks as a free agent in 2001, he ran the string to 183 games and 140 starts before a knee injury forced him out of a game.
Randle showed signs of becoming one of the NFL’s most dominant pass rushers during his second NFL season when he recorded 9.5 sacks. The following year he added 11.5 sacks which marked the first of eight straight seasons with double-digit sack totals.
In the 1993 season, Randle registered 12.5 sacks, amassed 59 tackles and forced three fumbles to earn All-Pro honors and a Pro Bowl invitation for the first time. It began a string of six straight All-Pro and Pro Bowl seasons for Randle. He improved his sack total again in 1994 with a NFC-high 13.5 sacks. Randle recorded perhaps his finest season in 1997 when he led the NFL with 15.5 sacks and also had a career-high 71 tackles.
His single best performance came against the Green Bay Packers on September 22, 1996 when he had a career-high 3.5 sacks and forced two fumbles as the Vikings raced out to a 4-0 start on the season after defeating the Packers, 30-21. Randle was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance and then earned NFC Defensive Player of the Month.
In all, Randle amassed 137.5 sacks during his 14-season career. He led the Vikings in sacks nine times and the Seahawks twice. Thirty-five times he recorded multi-sack games including eight games with three or more sacks. Randle was elected to seven Pro Bowls (1994-99, 2002) and named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s.
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