In preparation for his third NFL season, offensive lineman Bill Ferrario has been allocated to NFL Europe, Director of Pro Personnel Reggie McKenzie said Thursday.
Ferrario joins a previously-announced group of eight Packers players destined for the NFL's developmental league this spring.
Of that group, Ferrario is by far the more experienced after two full seasons on the Packers' roster.
He saw at least limited action in all 17 games last season (including playoffs) and played most of the game at Minnesota (Nov. 17) and most of the second half at Detroit (Sept. 22) when starting right guard Marco Rivera went down to injury.
That said, Ferrario's NFLE tour is targeted at getting him game reps at center, a secondary position that he only started to learn midway through training camp last summer.
"I think this is a wonderful opportunity for Billy," Packers offensive line coach Larry Beightol said.
"He would get approximately 700 snaps playing center if all things go well. That would be an experience that we can't give him here right now that he can gain prior to the 2003 season.
"For any young player, that's a tremendous benefit. We're excited about him doing that. That's the main reason we want him to go to NFL Europe is to play as a center so we can evaluate him, see where he is and see if center is a position for him with the Green Bay Packers."
Ferrario has been assigned to the Berlin Thunder.
Only the Chicago Bears, with 13, and the Kansas City Chiefs, with 10, allocated more players to NFL Europe than the Packers' nine.
The 10-week NFLE season gets underway April 5, leading toward World Bowl XI in Glasgow, Scotland, June 14.