For the first time since it started handing out player of the month awards in 27 years ago, the NFL on Thursday gave one to a tight end: the New Orleans Saints’ Jimmy Graham.

Graham earned the NFC Offensive Player of the Month honor after catching 27 passes for 458 yards and six touchdowns in September to help the Saints start the year off 4-0. He’s tied for first in touchdowns with Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker.

Graham is in the last year of the rookie deal he accepted after the Saints selected him in the third round of the 2010 draft. He’s declined to discuss where talks about a contract renewal are with the Saints, saying “that whole situation isn’t important to me right now.”

“For me, it really is all football,” Graham has previously remarked. “I’m going to try to do all I can to put this team in the best situation to win.”

Pundits expect Graham — whose productivity is more like an elite wide receiver’s — to become the best-paid tight end in league history, worthy of a contract of about $10 million per year.