Justin Smith DL SF 3 Months

Justin Smith's played on 780-of-1064 snaps (73.3 percent) in 2013.

Justin Smith DL SF 9 Months

After RE Justin Smith's 2012 triceps tear, the 49ers allowed 300 passing yards per game and a 102.1 rating to opposing quarterbacks.

Those stats include Smith's playoff performances at less than full strength, and are in comparison to a 183-yard average and 74.6 QB rating in Smith's 13 1/2 healthy games. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to identify Smith as a critical cog and difference maker. Esteemed beat reporter Matt Maiocco suggests Smith is the "most important player" in Vic Fangio's defense.

Justin Smith DL SF 10 Months

Justin Smith's two-year extension saves the 49ers more than $4 million in cap room this season.

Interestingly, Smith negotiated this deal without an agent. His $7.5 million 2013 base salary was converted into a $6.56 million signing bonus, a $940,000 base salary with a $500,000 workout bonus and a $100,000 roster bonus. In 2014, he'll earn $4.55 million and in 2015, he'll receive $2.65 million in base salary. Despite Smith's age, it's a very team-friendly deal for arguably the best 3-4 end in football.

Justin Smith DL SF 10 Months

49ers RE Justin Smith said he won't play out his two-year extension as a part-time player.

Smith has no interest in fading quietly into the night as he plays out the next three seasons. If he can't be a full-time player, there's language in the deal to let both sides get out. "I won't be a guy that's around for 10 snaps, 20 snaps," Smith said. "It's either I'm going (to play full-time), or I'm not going. And when it's time to get my ass out of here, I'm going." The Niners are expected to groom second-round rookie Tank Carradine as a defensive end, but a healthy Smith is still a dominant one.

Justin Smith DL SF 10 Months

49ers RE Justin Smith (triceps) is currently bench-pressing more than 400 pounds.

It sounds like Cowboy's triceps/elbow is doing just fine. Fresh off signing a two-year extension, Smith is expected to be 100 percent for training camp.

Justin Smith DL SF 10 Months

49ers signed RE Justin Smith to a two-year extension.

Justin Smith DL SF 10 Months

The 49ers are expected to rotate their defensive line more heavily than in past seasons.

From 2011-2012 only two defensive lineman played more snaps than Justin Smith and Ray McDonald. Smith will turn 34 during the first month of the season and is coming off a torn triceps injury. The defense was noticeably weaker with Smith out of the lineup, so it's in the best interest of the team to keep him fresh.

Justin Smith DL SF Apr 17 '13

49ers GM Trent Baalke says RE Justin Smith (triceps surgery) already has "no restrictions" in his rehab, and is back in the weight room.

Smith underwent surgery soon after the Super Bowl. The 49ers will likely take it easy with Smith in their offseason program, but he's on pace to be 100 percent for training camp. Baalke also Aldon Smith (labrum) is coming along "conservatively," but will be fine. The defending NFC champs have no reason to rush either of their pass-rushing linchpins.

Justin Smith DL SF Apr 15 '13

The Sacramento Bee confirms 49ers RE Justin Smith (triceps surgery) is on track for the start of training camp.

Smith underwent surgery in February and has already shed his sling. He's currently in attendance at the Niners' offseason conditioning program. Smith, who turns 34 in September, is coming off of a 66-tackle, three-sack season.

Justin Smith DL SF Feb 06 '13

Including the playoffs, 49ers RE Justin Smith's 2,141 snaps over the past two seasons are fourth among all defensive linemen.

That's despite the fact that Smith missed 2.5 games in 2012. Smith had appeared in 185 consecutive contests before partially tearing his triceps against the Patriots in Week 15, but it's fair to wonder if the 49ers will ease up on the linchpin of their defensive line in 2013. If they don't, it's quite possible Smith's triceps tear will end up the first of many injuries for a player who's going on 34. Smith's backup Ricky Jean-Francois has made a minimal impact on his 637 snaps over the past two seasons.