Daniel Bryan is one of the most popular Superstars on the WWE roster, but he may become one of the most popular stars on the indys if he doesn't sign a new contract.
His current deal is set to expire on September 1, and as of this writing, WWE has not confirmed or denied anything regarding his contract.
The Miz even brought the subject up during a recent exchange on SmackDown. Whether it was his choice or something he was told to do is not clear.
If The Yes Man chooses not to continue with WWE, he will have his pick of any wrestling promotion on the planet. However, it might be in his best interests to stay with the company for now.
Let's look at a few pros and cons of Bryan re-signing with WWE.
Pro: More Money
Bryan will fetch a hefty price tag on the indy scene, but there is no way anyone will be able to match what WWE can offer him.
Even if he isn't driven solely by his bank account, Bryan has a family to take care of. The more money he can make now, the better he will be able to prepare for the future.
Between his downside guarantee, bonuses, merchandise sales and appearing on two different reality shows, The Leader of the Yes Movement has checks coming from a lot of places.
Cody Rhodes, The Young Bucks and many others have shown the world you can make a good living outside the confines of a WWE ring, so it's not like Bryan would be struggling. He just wouldn't be getting as rich as he would be working for Vince McMahon.
Con: Less Freedom
Bryan is a pro wrestling purist, so he had to make a lot of changes to his in-ring performances when he joined the WWE roster back in 2009.
WWE has a specific style. While different wrestlers have different move sets, most matches on Raw and SmackDown tend to be somewhat formulaic.
On the indy scene, Bryan would have a lot more creative freedom to put together the kinds of matches he wants instead of having a producer plan it out for him.
This freedom would also extend to storylines and where he chooses to work. Bryan is a big enough star to be able to demand certain things like non-exclusive contracts.
He could make appearances for Impact Wrestling, New Japan, Ring of Honor and anyone else with enough money to pay him at the same time.
Pro: More Exposure
A few companies other than WWE have television deals now, but they can't offer anywhere near the level of exposure WWE can give a Superstar.
Being a member of the WWE roster has opened many doors for Bryan and his wife, Brie Bella. They have interests outside the ring like Nikki and Brie's line of wines and their clothing company, Birdiebee.
Being on Raw, SmackDown, Total Divas and Total Bellas is akin to free advertising. ROH and New Japan can't give them the same thing.
WWE probably wouldn't punish Brie if Bryan chooses to leave, but she might not get the same opportunities she does now.
Con: Less Time Off
Working the indys would give Bryan more freedom to create his own schedule, unlike WWE where every week is planned out months in advance.
Even if management gives him a lighter schedule, The Yes Man still wouldn't have as much time to spend with his wife and daughter because he would still be required to travel on a weekly basis.
If he was working his own schedule, Bryan would be able to take a few weeks off whenever he felt like he needed time to heal or he just wanted to spend time with his family.
Unlike WWE's live programming, other promotions tend to film multiple episodes at once. Impact Wrestling will often tape shows a month in advance, so Bryan would have it much easier if he were to jump ship.
Pro: Better Healthcare
Bryan may have been cleared to compete inside the ring after two years of seeing different specialists, but that doesn't mean he is invulnerable.
Someone can be fine after several concussions before one does serious damage. Should anything happen to Bryan during a match, WWE would be better equipped to deal with it than a smaller promotion.
Superstars have access to the best surgeons and rehab specialists in the business thanks to WWE. Given his history, The Yes Man should take this into consideration.
It's not as if he couldn't get great healthcare on his own. It would just be significantly more expensive.
Bryan would be able to write his own ticket on the indy circuit, but staying with WWE is the best option he has.
Other than having a busy schedule and bosses to answer to, the upsides far outweigh the downsides of re-signing his contract.
The Yes Man seems like the kind of guy who would inform an employer ahead of time if he planned on leaving, so perhaps waiting so long is a negotiating technique.
Regardless, Bryan should stay with WWE for the sake of his fans, his family and his health.
What do you think? Should Bryan sign a new contract or should he see what else is out there for him?