Peyton Manning sells his Denver-area Papa John's locations to another franchisee

Peyton Manning has sold the stake in all his Denver-area Papa John's locations

In the aftermath of founder John Schnatter blaming poor leadership on the anthem protests by players as pizza sales diminished dramatically.

Collins said Manning would remain a spokesperson and ambassador for Papa John's as part of a previously reached long-term agreement.

"The franchisee that purchased the market is excited about the future of our business and assumed ownership of all Papa John's locations in the Denver, [Colorado], market on February 26, 2018", Peter Collins, a Papa John's spokesman, told the Denver Post.

Manning retired from playing football after the 2015 season. He's also letting go his stake in the company as a whole.

Schnatter remains a Papa John's chairman and his face still appears on the company's pizza boxes.

While he's not expressed much interest in joining the broadcast booth, Peyton Manning has 10 million reasons to give it some additional thought.

Manning, meanwhile, was considered the game's most cerebral quarterback, essentially serving as an on-field offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos during a career that will make him a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection. "The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players' and [team] owners' satisfaction", he said in a conference call with investors. Now, the locations have reportedly been sold to an existing franchisee that has stores in other major markets. "We are disappointed the National Football League and its leadership did not resolve this".

Papa John's last week reported fourth-quarter earnings below Wall Street expectations.

Schnatter's replacement, Steve Ritchie, said the company still has team partnerships with more than 20 National Football League franchises.