DENVER (AP) – Peyton Manning sold 31 Denver-area Papa John’s stores last week, two days before the NFL dropped the chain as its official pizza sponsor.

The Denver Post reported Wednesday that Papa John’s spokesman Peter Collins confirmed the former NFL quarterback sold his stake to an existing Papa John’s franchisee.

READ MORE: North Texas Health Departments, Pharmacies Making Plans To Vaccinate Children Against COVID-19

Manning will remain Papa John’s celebrity spokesman and brand ambassador. He wasn’t immediately available for comment.

READ MORE: Dallas ISD To Start New School That Mixes Learning In Classroom And Online

The NFL and Papa John’s ended their deal February 27, and the league announced a multiyear marketing deal with Pizza Hut the following day. The NFL’s relationship with Papa John’s was strained last year when company founder John Schnatter criticized the league’s leadership about national anthem protests by players.

MORE NEWS: Fort Worth Mayoral Runoff Candidates Discuss Policy Differences At Forum

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)