This move should also save the Panthers about a million on the cap. IIRC, Godfrey was getting 100k per game that he was on the roster as a way for him to earn back some of the money he gave up to stay with the team.
But then you're helping one team avoid a penalty that could affect the outcome of the game. And in doing so, you compromise the integrity of the game.
Are you okay with that?
The rule clearly states "When Team A presents a punt, field-goal, or Try Kick formation, a Team B player, who is within one yard of the line of scrimmage, must have his entire body outside the snapper’s shoulder pads at the snap."
Was Hightower within one yard of the line of scrimmage at the snap? No--and he wouldn't have been even if the referee never moved him. A shift was built into that particular play call for New England.
Just before the snap, New England shifts its linemen towards the middle with two defensive tackles moving from the B gap down into the A gap, just outside of the snapper's shoulder pads as is legal per the league rule. Hightower is behind the guys lined up in the A gap. Kind of difficult to be within one yard of the line of scrimmage if you're behind a 6'2 330lb man.
And I'm absolutely okay with it to the extent that I can trust when Dean Blandino says it's a routine officiating mechanic. I also tend to agree with him that it's not much different than when the side judge points out the line of scrimmage to receivers. And that happens on nearly every play.
I'm fine with players asking. Not so thrilled with refs offering help.
Worried about injury because you see a guy lined up wrong? Blow the whistle and throw the flag before the play starts. They'll learn soon enough.
Except that's not the rule. It's not a penalty until the ball is snapped. You want to talk about integrity issues and action/inaction affecting the outcome of games? Then don't suggest that referees should be making calls outside of the rulebook.