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Seahawks Ink John Randle

The Seattle Seahawks went to work on their defense Saturday, signing free agent defensive tackle John Randle one day after trading for quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.

Randle was released Thursday by Minnesota after playing all 11 professional seasons with the Vikings.

The Seahawks reportedly gave Randle a $25 million, five-year contract with a $5 million signing bonus.

The Seahawks on Friday made a trade with the Green Bay Packers for Hasselbeck, Brett Favre's backup. They exchanged first-round draft picks with Green Bay, sending No. 10 to the Packers for the Packers' No. 17, and also gave up their third-round pick.

Hasselbeck, 25, will be Seattle's starting quarterback.

In signing Randle, a six-time Pro Bowler with 114 career sacks, the Seahawks added a veteran pass rusher whom they hope can help turn around a defense that ranked last in the 31-team NFL last season.

The Seahawks are expected to release Cortez Kennedy, their eight-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle.

The 6-foot-1, 283-pound Randle has never missed a game in a career that includes 150 starts. He has made 133 consecutive starts and his 113 sacks since 1991 are the most in the league.

Randle's Vikings teams played against Seattle coach Mike Holmgren's Green Bay clubs when he ran the Packers in the NFC Central . Randle left a big impression on Holmgren.

"They told me if I came up here I could get a motorcycle ride from Mike Holmgren," Randle said jokingly, referring to Holmgren's hobby of riding motorcycles for relaxation.

Randle said he hopes to get into his first Super Bowl under Holmgren, who took two Green Bay teams there.

"I've competed against Mike Holmgren, and he's had some great teams," Randle said. "He's been a Super Bowl champion, and that's a goal I'm looking forward to getting. I know if I want a chance to get that, this is the place."

Billionaire Paul Allen is the Seahawks' owner who he lured Holmgren away from Green Bay by making him the highest paid coach in the league with a $32 million, eight-year contract. The Seahawks will move into a new outdoor stadium for the 2002 season.

"I want to come and help this team get better and eventually get to a Super Bowl," Randle said.

Randle, 33, is older than Kennedy, 32, but the Seahawks thought signing him was a wise decision because he's been one of th best defensive linemen in the NFL for a decade.

"Any decision you make, whether it is to bring in a veteran or a draft choice, you think long and hard organizationally," said Ted Thompson, vice president of football operations for the Seahawks. "The opportunity to add John Randle to our team overweighs any concerns we may have of acquiring a veteran or not.

"This is a warrior. He is a guy who plays every day and practices well. He's going to be a great inspiration to our players. He's a pro's pro."

Randle's career in Minnesota ended with a 41-0 loss to the New York Giants in the NFC championship game.

"The course of me playing with the Vikings finally came to an end," Randle said. "We were in the NFC championship game for two of the past three seasons. As for me and the defense, we tried everything we could do. I think it was time for me to get out."

©2001 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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