"It's going to be important not to spin our wheels worrying about it and being paralyzed by it but to be proactive," Lewis said Tuesday, via The Cincinnati Enquirer, at the NFL Annual Meeting in New Orleans.
Lewis said he last spoke with Palmer in early February, and the quarterback was positive, just as he was in conversations throughout the Bengals' disappointing 4-12 season, one year after winning the AFC North.
"Guys get to points for different reasons," Lewis said. "The fans shouldn't worry about that. If he doesn't want to do this, then this is what we have to do. This is a 24/7 deal for all of us.
"A lot of things affect people all the time, but the thing about it is there's a great opportunity ahead and we're going to seize the moment. One guy spoke with the owner of the football team, and he was told where his stand is. Carson knew where things are going to be."
Lewis, whose remaining options under center are Palmer's younger brother, Jordan, and second-year pro Dan Lefevour, isn't averse to picking -- and starting -- a quarterback with the No. 4 overall selection in April's draft. Trading for a veteran also is an option.
"I think you do what's best for the team for the next two years," Lewis said. "You don't worry about where the pick is in 2012, you do what you can to strengthen the team for '11. Whatever move you make, you make it not for one year, but for two, three years. I don't buy that you wait until you know what the pick is. If you feel like you need to do it, you do it, and 2012 takes care of itself."