MIAMI (CBS4) – Chad Henne is still looking to solidify his role as the Miami Dolphins’ starting quarterback in 2011. He may go a long way towards doing that if the NFL locks out the players starting Thursday.

Henne would become a de facto offensive coordinator as the Dolphins players conduct player-led workouts that would be used as a replacement for a team’s typical off-season activities.

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According to CBSMiami news partner the Miami Herald, Henne has been meeting with the Fins’ new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to get a better grasp of the overall offense.

Henne told the Herald that the new offense is “quarterback friendly” and that it’s very similar to “what I was used to at Michigan.”

Henne’s plans are the reality of the NFL if the league and the NFL Players’ Association can’t come to an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement.

Neither side is budging on the main issues which are: an 18-game season, a rookie wage scale, and the owners desire to take back $1 billion from the players.

The league and the NFLPA have been meeting with a mediator in Washington, DC for the past week. While some headway and positive feelings were emerging, the main three points continue to hold up negotiations and time is of the essence.

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The current CBA expires on Thursday and if that happens, there will be a dramatic series of events that take place between the two sides. At a time when the NFL is the most popular sport in the country, the league/owners and the players are running the risk of alienating the average fan.

If the CBA expires, the league will impose a league-wide lockout of players. It will essentially freeze all team activity and curtail any transactions or activities that involved players. This would include mini-camps, trades, and even rehabbing from injuries.

Once the lockout is enacted, the NFLPA can move to decertify and throw the whole issue further into chaos.

For the players, the lockout will also bring with it a loss of health insurance. Many of the players see their millions of dollars as carte blanche to spend as much as they want and have no savings. That reality will come crashing down when/if the lockout starts.

But the biggest losers will likely be the hardcore fans who live the NFL. Usually at this time, the league is already into free agency and big splashes have been made by multiple teams. The Dolphins did this last year when they signed inside linebacker Karlos Dansby.

Plus, at a time when lots of big name free agents are about to hit the market; a team could go from pretender to contender in no time.

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Fans who love the NFL off-season as much as the regular season, though, will now have to turn their attention to spring college football, the NBA, and Major League Baseball. Luckily for fans, all three are either in season or about to start, which may make the lockout sting a little less.