There's no guarantee that quarterback Josh McCown would return to the Chicago Bears next year if starter Jay Cutler ends up going elswhere.
Family is the most important factor for the 34-year-old veteran, and that ultimately will be the determining factor in his football future.
McCown and his wife, Natalie, live in North Carolina with their four children and he does not like being away from home during the season, particularly during the Christmas season.
"It's a year-to-year thing of how long is this going to be," McCown told the Chicago Sun-Times. "In our minds, when we commit to it, it's for a year. So to be apart like this, it's a tough deal. But it's something everybody (in my family) talks about, including my daughter, my oldest, especially, just sitting with her, 'Is all this OK? Are you cool with this?' So she's been great with it all.
"But for me, I know that there is a time coming where it's going to get harder and harder. I kind of have a thought process in my mind of: I don't know if I want to do this and let her get out of my house having done this the last four years where we live apart.
"There's not enough money in the world to justify and make it feel OK to miss those games and stuff like that. It's a process. It's things that we think about, quite honestly, moving forward in my career in the direction, 'Are we going to keep playing?' All those things, because it's a real question, because those things are hard."
McCown stepped in this season when Cutler was injured and the Bears have a 3-2 record when he starts. He has a 109.0 passer rating, completing 149 of 224 passes for 1,829 yards with 13 touchdowns and one interception.
Cutler will start for the Bears on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers in a game that will decide the NFC North champion and a playoff berth. McCown, who becomes a free agent after the season, will serve as the backup.