He had ’em fooled. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Oh, Peyton, you prankster. With football fans everywhere — not to mention Denver Broncos executives — wondering whether or not he will retire, the quarterback took the opportunity to tease a crowd at a speaking engagement Wednesday.

Manning also proved — once again — what a tremendous corporate shill he is by turning the tease into a plug for Papa John’s Pizza, of which he owns over 20 franchises.

The stunt took place at the Florida Forum Speakers Series in Jacksonville. Jeff Darlington, an NFL Network reporter, said that Manning had agreed to the appearance long before he started for the Broncos in a Super Bowl 50 victory.

According to Darlington and other reporters at the event, that opening prank was hardly the last time Manning drew laughs. ESPN’s Mike DiRocco said the quarterback spoke of a time he made a mistake in practice, earning a scolding from a coach, at which point wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, to the tune of Manning’s Nationwide ads, sang, “No. 18 screwed it up.”

Given the location of the speaking engagement, Manning made sure to mention the Jaguars. He had words of praise for the team, in particular Coach Gus Bradley and quarterback Blake Bortles, but he also joked that, in 2014, he had been rooting for Bortles, as he does with all first-year quarterbacks, to break his own rookie interception record.

Other tidbits included Manning telling the crowd that former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis hit him the hardest and most often, and that the football with which he hit kids in a famous “Saturday Night Live” sketch was just a Nerf. Less amusing, at least to him, was missing several games with a foot injury this past season; watching those games on TV was “absolutely excruciating,” Manning said.

After his speech, Manning answered questions from a moderator for about 20 minutes and, according to DiRocco, none of them related specifically to whether or not he was ready hang up his cleats. It did sound like the quarterback has not given much thought to what he will do when eventually does walk away from the sport.