The beleagured 49ers defense just received another mighty blow as five-time Pro Bowler, and consistently dominant defensive force, Justin Smith, announced that he decided to retire from the NFL.

Smith, 35 years old, only missed two games in his 14 year career. He finishes his career with 613 tackles and 87 sacks.

Said 49ers CEO Jed York on the team's website "Tough. Physical. Durable. Hard-working. Dedicated. Selfless. Justin embodies each of those qualities and brought even more with him to work each and every day. Whether it was chasing down a wide receiver and forcing a fumble to seal a win, or driving a tackle back into the quarterback's chest, he gave everything he had every play. Justin ... will always be remembered as one of the 49ers all-time greats."

Team GM Trent Blake said that Smith had "durability" and "rare stamina."