Former Pittsburgh Steelers draft picks Isaiah Buggs and Tyler Matakevich are sticking around in the NFL, thanks to contracts the pair signed with their respective teams Monday morning.
Buggs inked a two-year, $6 million extension with the Detroit Lions, while Matakevich signed a two-year extension with the Buffalo Bills.
A sixth-round pick in 2019 out of Alabama, Buggs spent three seasons with the Steelers before being waived on January 8, 2022. From there, Buggs was signed to the practice squad by the Las Vegas Raiders. He didn’t stick in Sin City, instead catching on with the Lions on July 23, 2022, staying with Detroit through the 2022 season.
In his fourth NFL season, Buggs found his game, recording a career-high 46 tackles, one sack and 10 quarterback hits under coach Dan Campbell. He received a 53.9 overall grade from PFF, including a 68.0 pass rush grade. Buggs closed the season strong, recording a sack in a Week 13 win over Minnesota and then totaling 18 of his 46 tackles in the final four weeks as the Lions went 3-1 down the stretch.
Buggs earned some praise from Steelers defensive lineman and friend Cameron Heyward Monday morning after news of his extension dropped.
While a member of the Steelers, Buggs recorded 31 tackles, two tackles for a loss and one pass deflection. He started seven career games for Pittsburgh.
Matakevich, a Steelers’ seventh-round pick in 2016 out of Temple, signed a two-year extension with the Bills, the team he’s spent the last three seasons with after exciting Pittsburgh as a free agent after the 2019 season.
In three seasons with Buffalo, Matakevich has been a core special teamer for coach Sean McDermott.
He’s recorded 48 tackles, one interception and three passes defensed in his time in Buffalo, playing 1,013 special teams snaps for the Bills the last three season, which accounts as 76% or more of the special teams snaps each season.
While with the Steelers, Matakevich played 1,208 special teams snaps over four seasons, finishing with 77 tackles in the black and gold with one start at inside linebacker.