It looks to me like the lockout is going to happen. The owners are in a position of strength, and the players have shown no indication of budging. In the past, teams in this situation have given playbooks and plans for practice to the players to hold practices themselves. Also, with no CBA in place, it's impossible to trade current players. Whether the worst-case scenario transpires or not, teams would be wise to prepare for the worst.
For now, the Broncos are stuck with two legitimate starting quarterbacks in Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow. Without a CBA, there can neither be a trade, nor a competition. While Elway said that Tebow needed to develop as a pocket passer, he wasn't specific whether he thought it best to develop as a backup or under live fire. Elway also said that there would be "competition" for the starting QB job, but an extended lockout would prevent any competition. The decision will have to be made before the lockout. Assuming that one player will lead the offense through the offseason/ preseason: Who will it be?
The journeyman incumbent with six years of experience in the NFL, and two in the Broncos' current offense. However his lame-duck status may impinge upon his leadership ability, which isn't great in the first place. Orton is also an alternate NFLPA representative to Brian Dawkins, who may not be returning. Given that the Broncos will be stuck with him until the CBA is resolved (at which point may be too late to trade him) it may be wise to stay the course, let him start for another mediocre rebuilding year, and trade him as a starter prior to the 2012 season. If that's the plan, the Broncos may hand him the playbook if they expect the lockout to extend into the regular season. On the other hand, it's doubtful that Orton would be helpful in the development of his inevitable successor.
The kid is still raw, there's no doubt about that. The lockout would happen at the worst possible time for Tebow, who needs more coaching than anyone. With that said, his abilities as a leader on the field are unquestioned, and the players seem to be behind him (N=Brandon Lloyd). However, his legendary work ethic as a player might work against him as a de facto coach, as he may attempt to drive the other players as hard as he drives himself.
Chaos reigns, and the players go their separate ways until the CBA is resolved. Some players will work out together, but this will progress willy-nilly, and the offense will remain fragmented until the new CBA is announced. On the other hand, having player-organized practices during strikes/ lockouts is viewed by some as cheating, so this possibility wouldn't pose any additional risk to the Broncos' scuffed reputation. This situation could also lead to a locker room divided by the groups players practiced with during the lockout.
Again, this is strictly speculative and dependent on the ownership's belief in the imminence of a protracted lockout. The ultimate question is simply what happens to the team during the lockout. I'm assuming the coaching staff will give instructions to a player who will lead the team during the lockout, but that will not necessarily the case. If that doesn't happen (or even if it does) is there a chance that one player will assert leadership and lead a cohesive offseason program without any direction from the coaching staff?