After 14 seasons, John Randle retires

In a span of four days, the Seahawks have lost 22 seasons of NFL experience at defensive tackle.

Last Friday, they released Puyallup native Chad Eaton. Yesterday, 14-year veteran John Randle announced his retirement, ending a storied career that featured seven Pro Bowl appearances and more recorded sacks than all but five players to have played in the NFL.

Randle, 36, informed Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren of his decision last night, according to a report that aired on the NFL Network. Steve Caric, a spokesperson for the agency that represents Randle, confirmed the announcement.

Randle must file formal paperwork with the NFL and the Seahawks before his retirement becomes official, which could take a couple of days.

Randle spent the past three seasons with the Seahawks after 11 with the Minnesota Vikings. His 137½ sacks are tied for fifth on the all-time list. That figures to make Randle a safe bet for the Pro Football Hall of Fame when he is eligible for induction in 2009. The Texas native sacked Green Bay's Brett Favre more times than any quarterback (10.5).

In 2001, he signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the Seahawks and represented the team in the Pro Bowl that season after recording 11 sacks.

Last season, the team sought to use him mainly in passing situations, though Randle ended up starting nine games.

Randle's departure adds $3 million in salary-cap space for the Seahawks, bringing them to about $19 million under the $80.6 million cap — with $7.1 million of that earmarked for franchise player Walter Jones.

Randle will count $2 million against the 2004 cap, the remaining prorated total of his $5 million signing bonus from 2001. He was scheduled to make $4 million next season, not counting a roster bonus due on Sunday.

A vocal leader on and off the field, Randle was known for painting his face and trash-talking.

Before last season, Randle left quite an impression on Holmgren after agreeing to a pay cut that afforded the Seahawks more salary-cap room to sign defensive free agents.

"He has more fun than any 10 players I've ever seen," Holmgren said. "There's the John Randle football player and there's the John Randle that might come up to my office and we'll talk about something. There really are two distinctly different guys, and sometimes in this business you get to see that.

"For a coach, he just makes things worth it."

Randle wants to spend time with wife Candace, daughter Brittany and twins that are due in June, Caric said in a statement.

José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or

Sack man
John Randle's sack totals by year:
Yr. Tm. Sk.
1990 Min 1.0
1991 Min 9.5
1992 Min 11.5
1993 Min 12.5
1994 Min 13.5
1995 Min 10.5
1996 Min 11.5
1997 Min 15.5
1998 Min 10.5
1999 Min 10.0
2000 Min 8.0
2001 Sea 11.0
2002 Sea 7.0
2003 Sea 5.5
Total 137.5