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Bills Trade Picks for QB Johnson

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From Staff and Wire Reports

The Buffalo Bills, who have been searching for a bona-fide quarterback since the departure of Jim Kelly after the 1996 season, completed their trade for former USC quarterback Rob Johnson on Friday.

The Bills acquired Johnson from the Jacksonville Jaguars for their first-round pick--the ninth overall--and their fourth-round selection in the upcoming draft.

Johnson, a fourth-round draft choice in 1995, emerged as a valuable commodity after filling in for injured Mark Brunell at the start of the 1997 season.

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The Jaguars reportedly plan to offer the first-round choice from Buffalo and their own first-round selection (25th overall) in an effort to move up and draft Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson of Michigan.

Jacksonville Coach Tom Coughlin is very interested in Woodson and is close to hiring Vance Bedford, Woodson’s position coach at Michigan, to be the Jaguars’ new secondary coach.

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Seattle Seahawk running back Lamar Smith was sentenced to four months in jail for the 1994 car accident that left teammate Mike Frier paralyzed below the waist.

Smith also was sentenced to 30 days of community service--which will be deducted from his jail term--by King County Superior Court Judge Linda Lau in Kent, Wash.

Smith’s trial in February 1996 ended in a mistrial when jurors deadlocked, 11-1, for conviction. He pleaded guilty last month to vehicular assault, averting a second trial, which had been set for March 2.

Alcohol was believed to be a factor in the Dec. 1, 1994, accident, when the vehicle--carrying Smith, defensive tackle Frier and running back Chris Warren--hit a traffic median and slammed into a utility pole in suburban Kirkland, Wash.

Smith, 27, has reached a $4 million settlement with Frier to be paid over seven years.

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The Washington Redskins re-signed two of their free agents, linebacker Ken Harvey and guard Tre Johnson, making Harvey one of the league’s top-paid linebackers with a five-year deal worth as much as $20 million including incentives. Johnson, one of the league’s most promising offensive linemen, signed a four-year contract worth $11.6 million.

The Oakland Raiders designated pro bowl defensive tackle Chester McGlockton a franchise player, preventing him from becoming an unrestricted free agent. The move means the Raiders will have the right to match an offer to McGlockton from another team or receive draft picks as compensation. . . . The New York Giants signed safety Tito Wooten to a multiyear contract.

Boxing

Johnny Tapia retained his International Boxing Federation junior bantamweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Rudolfo Blanco at Albuquerque, New Mexico. Laurent Boudouani retained his World Boxing Assn. junior middleweight title with a 12-round majority draw over Guillermo Jones.

Hockey

Dan Lambert scored a goal and an assist to lead the Ice Dogs past Las Vegas, 4-3, Friday night in Las Vegas.

Tennis

USC upset No. 2 UCLA, 4-3, at Marks Tennis Stadium in the Trojans’ first men’s tennis victory over UCLA since 1994.

“This was a long time coming,” said USC Coach Dick Leach, whose team is ranked 10th and has a 7-0 record. “I told our team yesterday that they could win this match, even though the Bruins were the favorites.”

USC’s Fernando Samayoa and Roman Kukal pulled out three-set victories to key the victory. Samayoa defeated UCLA’s Chris Sands, 6-3, 1-6, 6-2, and Kukal beat Alex Decret, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.

In women’s tennis, UCLA is also ranked No. 2, and the Bruins defeated No. 25 USC, 5-4, at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. That match was decided in doubles play, with UCLA’s Brandi Freudenberg and Cristina Popescu taking an 8-6 victory over Amber Basica and Kara Warkentin of USC.

Richard Krajicek, the 1996 Wimbledon champion, advanced to the semifinals of the St. Petersburg Open in Russia with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 victory over eighth-seeded Daniel Vacek.

Also advancing were Cedric Pioline of France, who defeated Hendrik Dreekmann of Germany, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5; Marc Rosset of Switzerland, who ousted Slovakia’s Dominik Hrbaty, 6-4, 6-3; and Thomas Johansson of Sweden, who beat France’s Fabrice Santoro, 6-3, 6-3.

Top-seeded Jana Novotna of the Czech Republic moved into the semifinals of the Paris Open by beating seventh-seeded Barbara Paulus of Austria, 6-2, 1-6, 6-4.

Novotna’s next opponent will be Mary Pierce, who defeated Anke Huber, 1-6, 6-1, 6-2.

Belgium’s Dominique Van Roost advanced to the other semifinal by beating Iva Majoli, the 1997 French Open champion, 7-5 6-3. She will face Nathalie Tauziat of France, who fought off two match points against Sarah Pitkowski before winning, 6-1, 2-6, 7-6 (8-6).

Top-seeded Pete Sampras defeated eight-seeded Mark Woodforde of Australia, 6-0, 6-2, in the quarterfinals of the Sybase Open in San Jose.

In another quarterfinal, second-seeded Michael Chang defeated seventh-seeded Tommy Haas of Germany, 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4.


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