John Randle's football career started at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas. After he finished his college career at Texas A&I, which culminated in Little All-America honors, John he was not selected in the 1990 NFL draft.
In May of 1990, he signed with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent and was considered a long shot to make the Vikings' roster. After making the Vikings' 1990 roster, he started a career which would see him become of the top pass rushers in NFL history.
Randle, a defensive tackle, played in all 16 games for the Vikings as a rookie in 1990. The next season he moved up to the first team, making eight starts. He would be a starter for the Vikings for the next nine seasons.
He missed portions of the 1991 and 1992 seasons because of injuries before playing in 176 consecutive games for the Vikings. Randle showed glimpses of his pass-rushing prowess in 1991, when he recorded 9.5 sacks. In 1992, he had 11.5 sacks — the first of eight consecutive seasons with 10 or more sacks.
The 1993 season saw Randle total 12.5 sacks and 59 tackles. Following the season he earned All-Pro honors and a Pro Bowl invitation for the first time. That was the first of six consecutive 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.
Randle spent his final three seasons (2001-03) with the Seattle Seahawks.
During his career, he led the Vikings in sacks nine times and the Seahawks twice as he recorded 137.5 sacks. Randle was elected to seven Pro Bowls (1994-99, 2002) and named to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1990s.
In 2010, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is a member of the Vikings' Ring of Honor.