Colin Kaepernick will stand for the playing of the national anthem this season, ending a protest that started a national conversation and spread across multiple sports at all levels last season.

Kaepernick, who is expected to opt out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers and become a free agent Thursday, believes that his message about police brutality and social equality has accomplished his mission of starting a dialogue, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported. Kaepernick, Schefter said, no longer wants the protest to detract from what he sees as positive changes.

Kaepernick protested police brutality by remaining seated on the bench during the 49ers’ first two preseason games, a move that went unnoticed because he didn’t play. By the third game, he was in uniform and conspicuous by his presence on the Niners’ bench. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he told the NFL Network’s Steve Wyche. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

As the season began, he switched to kneeling during the anthem, a form of protest that other NFL players and athletes in other sports adopted. “I’m going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed,” he explained. “To me, this is something that has to change. When there’s significant change and I feel that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, and this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”

JETS: Cutting Darrelle Revis was difficult, but in the end, “dollars and cents” outweighed personal ties and big names.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles insisted he has no regrets about the team’s decision to give the star cornerback $39 million guaranteed to return to the organization two years ago. But Revis’ high salary and declining play made it easy for the Jets to release him this week.

“I think it was a good idea,” Bowles told reporters Thursday morning at the NFL scouting combine. “I think it was a good call at the time. Obviously, he didn’t play as well this year. Neither did anybody else. But he’s a good football player. And that doesn’t bother me at all.”

• A person with direct knowledge of the team’s decision says the Jets are releasing wide receiver Brandon Marshall, clearing $7.5 million on the salary cap.

Marshall is the latest big-name player to be cut by the Jets, who have also parted ways with Revis, Nick Mangold, Nick Folk and Breno Giacomini this offseason.

Marshall played two seasons for the Jets, and set franchise records with 109 catches and 1,502 yards receiving. He had just 59 receptions for 788 yards and three TDs last season.

TITANS: Tennessee agreed to a contract extension with backup quarterback Matt Cassel a week before he was set to hit free agency.

Cassel is expected to help the Titans during the offseason program while Marcus Mariota recovers from a broken right lower leg. The 12-year veteran played in four games for Tennessee last season.

DOLPHINS: Ryan Tannehill is expected to be ready for Miami’s offseason program after missing the final four games of last season because of a sprained left knee.

Tannehill was able to avoid surgery, had a successful rehabilitation and isn’t expected to miss any team workouts.

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