Antoine Winfield, the 14th-year veteran of the NFL, did it on Monday. Michael Jenkins, the second-year Vikings receiver who is in his ninth NFL season, followed suit.
From one perspective, it's the type of leadership that Leslie Frazier was hoping to find in the seven players left on the roster that are 30 years or older. From another view, it could be perceived as desperation that these speeches are being made only two games into the season.
Either way, both players felt something needed to be said.
"It's hard to win in this league. We could easily be 0-2. When there's a game like (the one against the Colts) and it's on the line and you have the chance to win …" Winfield said.
"I'm only playing this game because I want to win a championship. It's not about the money anymore. I still love to play. I think I'm still productive. I can still play at a high level, so that's why I'm here."
Winfield has been on the cusp of a Super Bowl, only to fall short with the 2009 Minnesota Vikings and he knows his years are limited. He has put his 5-foot-9, 180-pound body on the line for 13-plus seasons and held up as one of the toughest and most efficient tacklers (pound for pound or otherwise) over the last decade.
Jenkins also tasted playoff success that came up short with the 2004 Atlanta Falcons, when his team went to the NFC Championship Game in his rookie season and lost to Philadelphia. Like Winfield, he took a paycut to help ensure a roster spot on a rebuilding Vikings team this year.
"Your days are numbered once you kind of get up there. You want everybody to have that sense of urgency that you have," Jenkins said. "It's tough to win in this league, as guys find out, and you want everybody to do their best to get that win every week."
The Vikings appear to be on the right track with their roster rebuild with what they hope is a franchise left tackle in rookie Matt Kalil and a second-year quarterback in Christian Ponder who is among the league's most efficient through two games. But, to date, they haven't been consistent enough.
They struggled at times against two other teams, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts, that finished at the bottom of their respective divisions last year, just like the Vikings. Minnesota's comeback in the regular season opener paid off with an overtime win. Against the Colts, it came up short when the defense allowed a rookie quarterback to go 45 yards in four plays over 23 seconds to set up the Colts' winning field goal.
Those might be the two easiest games on the Vikings' schedule all season, at least the two easiest back-to-back games.
Something needed to be said, and sometimes that is more impactful for young players when it comes from their peers instead of their coaches.
"You'd hope so," Jenkins said. "You hope that they take at least one thing that you say to heart and kind of run with it. You never know.
"It's just part of being a leader. I'm not a big talker. I'm kind of a ‘show' guy, but we've got a young squad, so just letting the guys know how it is in the NFL and how things work and trying to keep everybody on the right track."
The Vikings are trying to walk the line of building a roster for the future and still being competitive and keeping hope alive for veterans whose career flames are flickering in the sunset breeze. Of the 53 players on their roster, 16 were drafted in the last two years and another 17 of them have been added via free agency or trades over the last two years. That means less than half the team has been together for more than 20 games.
Both Jenkins and Winfield said their speeches were rare, but they needed to impart on younger players the importance of each game in a 16-game schedule and how much it means to players who know their Sundays in the spotlight are limited and closing in on them quickly.
"We try to keep everybody on the same page where they're taking it just as serious as the guys that have been through it," Jenkins said. "We get that going and things will go alright."
"He knows a lot of them personally, so I'm sure he'll help us out in that fashion," offensive tackle Phil Loadholt said.
The schemes and assignments have changed since Jim Harbaugh took over for Singletary to start the 2011 season, but Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, who played with Singletary in the 1980s with the Chicago Bears, has relied on his assistant to the head coach for some San Francisco insight.
"We definitely picked his brain on some things regarding some of their people, and he was very helpful with both sides of the ball as well as special teams," Frazier said. "We definitely got him to conversate a little bit about their personnel, for sure."
Remember when Smith was in danger of losing his starting job? He has won 16 of his last 19 starts and ranks third in the NFL with a 115.9 passer rating, and he is 12-0 when he has a passer rating over 100.
"We're going to try to establish the run. We won't get away from it," Frazier told 49ers reporters. "Although San Francisco plays the run as well as anybody in our league, we feel good about Adrian (Peterson), Toby Gerhart, our offensive line. We want to get the run established. I also believe we have the ability to throw the ball down field. We can't get away from trying to run the football."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.