(WSCR) The Chicago Bears are scheduled to open their 2011 training camp on July 22, that is of course if the league and the players work out their an agreement for a new collective bargaining agreement.

There’s been a nearly constant stream of reports indicating both optimism and pessimism that a deal would be reached without games being missed. Wednesday was a day for some optimism.

“Well the fact that DeMaurice Smith invited Roger Goodell to speak at the NFLPA sponsored event,” Mike Florio, of ProFootballTalk.com, said on the Danny Mac Show. “The Fact that Goodell accepted. The fact that they flew down together. Now I’m not suggesting they sat and held hands next to each other on the plane, but they flew down on the same plane, back to Minnesota on the same plane for more negotiations.

“That tells me that these two men are developing the kind of relationship of trust and friendship that they need to have in order to secure long-term labor peace, a Paul Tagliabue-Gene Upshaw type of relationship. They did not have that previously. They’ve developed it over the past month or so. That is critical over the long haul. What it means in the short-term remains to be seen.”

When Goodell and Smith return to the negotiating table this week, it will be without the owners or the players. Florio says there will be four days of negotiations between Goodell and Smith and their respective lawyers.

“I think what they’re doing is documenting every agreement they’ve ever had, every term they’ve ever agreed,” Florio said. “And they’re determining things that they still need to work on, hopeful to get the rest of the deal knocked out.

“Now the challenge for both sides, in particular the owners, is to not try to take advantage of the other side becuase there’s a sense of inevitability.”

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