The Detroit Lions made their first move of 2023 free agency, re-signing defensive tackle Isaiah Buggs.
The Detroit Lions have made their first move of 2023 free agency. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero first, defensive tackle Isaiah Buggs has signed a two-year deal worth “up to” $6 million to stay in Detroit.
Dave Birkett of The Detroit Free Press had the breakdown of the deal.
Buggs was adamant about his desire to stay with the Lions when last season ended. He was signed right before training camp last summer, and became a key cog for the Detroit defense as last season went on.
Buggs’ played all 17 games, starting 13, and his 755 defensive snaps were the seventh-most on the team last season. He had 46 total tackles, one sack, 20 quarterback pressures and 10 quarterback hits at nose tackle, which allowed Alim McNeill to play three-technique and be freed up some.
In a December win over the Minnesota Vikings, Buggs had his lone sack of the season and forced a key fumble at the goal line that the Lions recovered.
"This became a home for me because the first day I walked in these doors, these coaches and players welcomed me in with open arms,” Buggs said after the season. “They saw the work, they saw the grind, everything I was putting in, and they gave me an opportunity. I couldn’t let that go to waste.”"
Isaiah Buggs proved to be a great fit with the Lions
Buggs also became a fast team leader in the Lions’ locker room. He was credited as one of the players who set up a players-only meeting that helped foster last season’s turnaround. He was mic’d up, and captured in that leadership role, for the late-season game against the New York Jets.
The Lions’ run defense was dramatically better during the 8-2 run to finish the season, due in no small part to Buggs’ emergence. Now he’s sticking around for a little while longer, as expected based on the sentiment from both sides.