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Tuesday, February 14, 2012
ManningWatch: Is weather a factor?

By James Walker

There is plenty of speculation on the upcoming decision Peyton Manning has to make when he is most likely released by the Indianapolis Colts. But one aspect not often discussed is if weather will play any factor in Manning's decision.

Although it's early, here are some of the teams rumored to be interested in Manning: Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers. Of these teams, Miami and Arizona hold the weather advantage.

The Cardinals probably have the biggest advantage. Manning played in a dome his entire pro career in Indianapolis, and Arizona also has a dome. A Manning-led offense relies on passing 30-40 times a game, and it's much easier to do that under a roof.

Sun Life Stadium -- home of the Dolphins -- is warm year-round. The Dolphins play outdoors, so there is the threat of rain. But besides that, Manning would have no issues throwing the football all season long in Miami.

Manning would have to deal with the elements, including snow and heavy winds, playing in New York and Washington. Seattle and San Francisco are not bad climates. But it rains heavily and the 49ers' field, in particular, can be a mud pit late in the year. That slows the offense and helps the defense.

In the end, throwing with good weather conditions won't be the biggest determining factor for Manning. But if it weighs in his mind at all -- big or small -- Arizona and Miami have the edge.