I must admit, I was quite taken aback by Carl Edwards' decision to remain with Roush Fenway Racing. Don't get me wrong, I believe it is the proper call, but I really felt as if the offer from Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota, and Home Depot would be too good to pass up in Edwards' eyes. Add that to the fact that he waited until August to make his decision. I felt that if he was genuine about wanting to return to the Roush camp, the deal would have been completed weeks ago.
So, I was wrong, and Edwards will remain with the team he has spent his entire Sprint Cup career with. This is definitely a good call.
If Edwards had made the decision to jump ship to rival Joe Gibbs Racing, chances are, he would have been considered by many as the LeBron James of NASCAR. Of course, James announced on an hour-long broadcast on ESPN that he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat. Apparently, the Cavaliers had no idea James had decided to depart the organization, and the public persona for James took a major hit.
Of course, Edwards' situation is different. To my knowledge, Edwards had no plans to hold an hour-long self-indulgent broadcast on SPEED to announce his 'Decision'. Also, in NASCAR, decisions are in correlation with sponsors, unlike in basketball.
However, if Edwards had waited until August just to announce that he was leaving Roush Fenway for Joe Gibbs Racing, possibly taking the Aflac sponsorship package with him, many fans would have a bad taste in their mouths. Jack Roush and Ford have a huge fan base the goes back decades. While Edwards has earned a great deal of his fans on his own, many root for Edwards because he drives Fords for Roush.
If Edwards were to leave Roush, it is quite possible the organization would have to downsize to three full-time cars. After all, they still have yet to finalize sponsorship deals for Matt Kenseth and David Ragan, if they even plan on keeping the kid around. Losing Edwards and Aflac would have thrown the organization into a temporary tailspin. Of course, I believe the Roush team could easily survive the loss of Edwards, it would have certainly been a setback.
I am not privy to the contractual details, so I do not know this for sure, but I suspect that the Gibbs offer was more lucrative. If that is the case, loyalty to Roush was more important to Edwards than cash. Still, Edwards surely got a pretty deal from the folks at Roush and Ford.
Now that we know that Edwards will continue to drive Fords for Roush, we await the sponsorship details. It seems that Aflac will remain with Edwards, but UPS could move over the Edwards as well. Silly season is far from over.