Now that the regular season has begun, following yet another year of disappointment, a fourth consecutive season with no postseason victories, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen and are seeing over the course of the offseason and the regular season as it plays out. We will also be reviewing players based on their previous season and their prospects for the future. A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasoning. In some cases, it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances, it will be a direct response to something that just happened. Because of this, we can and will see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: DL Isaiah Buggs
Stock Value: Sold
Reasoning: The Steelers announced yesterday that they have waived second-year veteran Isaiah Buggs, who has had an up-and-down season, going from replacement starter to benched, then injured, and then with COVID-19, and then injured again—or still injured—before finally in the process of seeking employment.
Things certainly could have gone better this season for Isaiah Buggs, who ironically started the post-draft offseason process with most assuming that he would be outside the roster bubble looking in. It seemed there was no place for him at the time, with Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Tyson Alualu, Chris Wormley, Carlos Davis, and rookie Isaiahh Loudermilk.
But he put in a strong offseason, and he opened the season as the reserve nose tackle behind Alualu, taking over the full-time role after the latter’s injury in week two. Because of his erratic play, however, he was benched after week 11. Then he got hurt. Then he was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List.
Yesterday, he was waived, as the Steelers made a series of roster moves that largely consisted of getting other players back from the Reserve/COVID-19 List. That doesn’t mean his career is over, but it’s certainly not a great sign.
That means the Steelers didn’t feel it was important to go into the 2022 offseason with his rights in their back pocket. Not that there is going to be a rush to sign him any time soon, though he could certainly be picked up by somebody down the road.
Once Pittsburgh brought in Montravius Adams, though, that was pretty much it. He came in and right away looked like the player they wanted Buggs to be, only even more athletic. Meanwhile, they still have to figure out what they have in Davis, who missed the vast majority of his second season.