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Harvey, Johnson Stay With Redskins

February 14, 1998

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) _ Ken Harvey is guaranteed a trip to the playoffs. Tre Johnson credited the organization for being intelligent. Then again, it’s easy to feel buoyant when there’s a few extra million in the bank account.

Harvey and Johnson both re-signed with the Washington Redskins on Friday. Harvey, a four-time Pro Bowl linebacker, got a five-year deal that could be worth as much as $20 million with incentives, and Johnson, a fifth-year guard, signed for four years at $11.6 million.

``There is some unfinished business,″ said Harvey, who has never been on a playoff team in 10 NFL seasons. ``One of the main things I said I wanted to do when I got here was to help the team get to the Super Bowl ... Without a doubt, get in your mind, we will be in the playoffs this season. I usually don’t come out and guarantee anything, but we will be in the playoffs.″

Harvey, who turns 33 in May, received a $4 million signing bonus. Harvey’s agent, Stephen Baker, said that only Junior Seau of San Diego currently has a more lucrative package among linebackers.

Harvey, who promised coach Norv Turner he would be worth the money, said he wanted to retire with the Redskins. He has made it to the Pro Bowl in all four seasons in Washington after starting his career in Phoenix.

Johnson, a second-round draft choice in 1994 and a Pro Bowl alternate in 1996, agreed to a $3 million signing bonus and offered a backhanded compliment to his general manager and coach.

``I want to thank Charley Casserly and Norv Turner for having the great insight as football people to draft me in the first place and then be consistent enough to re-sign me,″ Johnson said. ``So it was extreme intelligence. They are way ahead of their time.″

The agreements came a day after the Redskins re-signed kick returner Brian Mitchell to a five-year, $8.4 million deal, leaving offensive lineman Joe Patton as the last of the team’s unsigned major free agents that it wants to retain for next season. Team sources indicate that Patton, unlike Mitchell, Harvey and Johnson, will fully explore the free-agent market before signing with a team.

But before either Harvey or Johnson can earn their money, each must overcome shoulder problems. Harvey is rehabilitating an injury that limited him to one sack in the first 11 games last season. He finished with a flourish, however, and led the team with 9.5 sacks and 25 quarterback hurries.

In the past eight months, Johnson has had surgery on both shoulders and will have yet another surgery shortly to repair damage suffered against the Phoenix Cardinals in Week 14. The 6-foot-2, 345-pound Johnson missed five games last season.

Nevertheless, Casserly said that the 26-year-old lineman was on the verge of becoming one of the premier lineman in the league.

``There comes a point in time where you mature as a football player, you get over the hump, you arrive,″ Casserly said. ``Well, this is where Tre Johnson is about to embark on his career.″

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