The NFL has been handing out AFC and NFC Player of the Month awards, four months a season, since 1986. Never has a tight end been named player of the month.
Until today, when Jimmy Graham of the Saints was named NFC Offensive Player of the Month.
Graham finished September with 27 catches for 458 yards, for a decidedly un-tight-end-like average of 17.0 yards a catch. His six touchdowns put him in a tie with Adrian Peterson and Wes Welker for the league lead, and he currently ranks second in the NFL in receiving yards and eighth in the NFL in catches.
With numbers like that, Graham deserves to get paid an awful lot of money. So far the Saints haven’t shown much interest in giving him a new deal, and the team is likely to try to put the tight end franchise tag on Graham when he becomes a free agent after the season. Graham will argue that he’s really a wide receiver, not a tight end.
With the Player of the Month award, Graham is doing something that no tight end has ever done.