Peyton Manning's partnership with Papa John's has ended

The two-time Super Bowl-winning former quarterback sold his 31 Papa John’s franchises two days before the NFL ended its sponsorship deal.

Kahron Spearman

Former Colts and Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, like the NFL, is out of the pizza business.

Two days before the league and Papa Johns agreed to discontinue their business relationship, Manning got out of the pizza business after he sold his stake in 31 Denver-area Papa Johns stores, The Denver Post reports (h/t Pro Football Talk.) 

Manning sold his share to an existing Papa Johns franchisee after six years. His stake was a joint venture with Papa Johns International, the paper reported.

The franchisee that purchased the market is excited about the future of our business and assumed ownership of all Papa Johns locations in the Denver, Co., market on Feb. 26, 2018

Manning will stay on as a spokesperson and brand ambassador for Papa Johns through his ongoing long-term agreement.

One speculative note, per another Denver Post story that could be perhaps connected: ESPN is reportedly actively pursuing Manning to replace new Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, as lead analyst on Monday Night Football.

If true, and Manning is interested - and given the NFL has switched to Pizza Hut as its pizza sponsor - the two-time Super Bowl winner may have had to give up his franchising business with Papa John's.