San Francisco 49ers linebacker Malcolm Smith will miss the entire 2017 season after suffering a torn pectoral in training camp, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports, citing sources.

An experienced veteran familiar with San Francisco’s new defensive scheme, Smith landed a five-year, $26.5-million deal to join the 49ers as a free agent back in March.

The big-money deal put the former Super Bowl MVP in line to start on the weak side, but he’ll now spend his entire first season with the 49ers working through an injury rehab.

That presumably clears a path for first-round rookie Reuben Foster to immediately take on a significant starting role alongside longtime defensive leader NaVorro Bowman.

Foster, a former Alabama standout, was widely considered a top-10 talent heading into this year’s draft. Concerns over the health of his shoulder pushed him down boards around the league, though, and the 49ers were able to trade back into the end of the first round and scoop him up at No. 31 overall.

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