In surprising news, given that Edge was in the recently released WWE movie Bending The Rules and was the main event inductee of this year's WWE Hall Of Fame ceremony, Mike Johnson of the wrestling website we refuse to link to due to their usage of ads with spyware has reported that Adam Copeland's WWE contract expires at the end of the month. Moreover, it is not a foregone conclusion that he will renew his deal with the company.
Apparently, WWE thought his re-signing would be a formality and may have even lowballed him on his new contract offer, taking advantage of the career long loyalty he has shown the company and perhaps also the fact that it would be difficult for him to make similar money elsewhere as a retired wrestler:
One source believed the contractual issue was financial and that the company may have "underestimated" that Edge would simply sign whatever was offered to him.
In regard to reader queries and in some cases, assumptions, that Edge would simply sign a "Legends" deal, that's not exactly what is happening here. The company is looking to sign him to a new full fledged deal that would require him to go through their offices for any outside deals, similar to the big money deals Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley have. The Legends deals are more along the lines of the talent simply licensing WWE to use their name and likeness. Edge's potential deal would put him squarely back under WWE's control like any other performer.
Given that he has aspirations to do more acting work, Edge may also be balking at the degree of control over outside ventures WWE would have by re-signing with the promotion. That's part of the reason why Ric Flair left WWE in 2008 and Chris Jericho in 2010, both men didn't have full freedom to pursue their outside interests or all the lucrative licensing opportunities that came there way and would thus be leaving money on the table by committing to WWE long term.
Edge is also one of the few retired wrestlers who seems to have genuinely moved on from the wrestling business and has little interest in being a returning TV character on a semi-regular basis like Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley are. Indeed, before his Smackdown Appreciation Night in Toronto last September, he said his appearance at SummerSlam 2011 in a pre-match angle with his best friend Christian had given him a sense of closure on his career and he'd be cool if he never appeared as Edge on WWE programming again. So he may be content to step away from WWE now, having done more in his wrestling career than he ever dreamt of, and enjoy the extra free time to do more hiking with his dogs and mountain biking around his home in Asheville, North Carolina.
Of course, if he does leave WWE then expect TNA to make a play for him, especially as Hulk Hogan is a big friend of his, but given his mindset I can't imagine he would be tempted by such an offer. Ensuring Edge stays away from TNA may be the biggest benefit of WWE keeping him under contract, but I don't think there is much risk of that happening, so it may be best for both parties if they go their separate ways now.