The team regressed from their 7–9 record from 2002, dropping to 5-11 and missing the playoffs. This was their worst season since 1994.
This was the first season since 1982 that the Redskins didn't have cornerback Darrell Green, who retired after the 2002 season. Owing to different formulas for intraconference scheduling used by the NFL before 2002, it was the first time since 1994 that the Redskins played the Atlanta Falcons and the first time ever the Redskins had played at the Georgia Dome, which opened in 1992.
Following the season, defensive tackle Bruce Smith retired after 19 seasons in the NFL, Pro Bowl defensive back Champ Bailey would be traded to the Denver Broncos and head coach Steve Spurrier left after spending only two seasons coaching the Redskins.