The site posts commentaries, recaps, and previews of the major sports storeys of the day, as well as sports-related anecdotes, rumours and YouTube videos. The last post each evening is tagged "DUAN" and means Deadspin Up All Night, often taking on a life of its own and featuring wildly diverse (and not necessarily related to sport) commentary. Like Gawker.com, storeys on Deadspin come from anonymous tips, readers, and additional sports blogs.
Deadspin includes two sub-sites that don't solely focus on sports: The humour section Adequate Man and The Concourse, which features articles on music, food and culture.
Deadspin's founding editor-in-chief was Will Leitch, author and a founding editor of the New York City–based culture website, "The Black Table". Leitch announced on June 5, 2008 that he would be leaving to take a position at New York magazine. He was replaced by A. J. Daulerio, former senior writer for the site.
Time magazine named the site one of the 50 coolest websites of 2006.
Deadspin broke the storey of Sarah Phillips, a reporter hired by ESPN who lied about her identity and credentials to staffers in order to gain employment.
Deadspin broke the news that the reported September 2012 death of the girlfriend of Notre Dame All-American linebacker Manti Te'o, which Te'o had said inspired him throughout the 2012 season, was apparently a hoax. Deadspin found no evidence that the girlfriend had ever existed, much less died.
Deadspin received attention for "buying" a vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame election in 2013. The site announced in late November 2013 that it had acquired a vote from a BBWAA writer which was "purchased" not through a cash payment to the writer, but instead to a charity of the writer's choice. On January 8, after the Hall of Fame voting was announced, Deadspin revealed that its voter was Miami Herald sportswriter Dan Le Batard. Le Batard was heavily criticised by fellow sportswriters for "selling" his vote. The BBWAA permanently revoked his Hall of Fame voting privileges and suspended his membership for one year.
On October 15, 2014, Deadspin published an article which alleged that Cory Gardner, the Republican who ran for senate in Colorado, had faked his high school football career. Later that day, Gardner tweeted photographic evidence of himself in his football uniform as a teenager, and the main source of the storey said the report mischaracterized his comments. Deadspin updated the article with an editor's note which stated the correct information. Republican-aligned blog The Washington Free Beacon criticised the article as a "politically-motivated hit."
The current masthead consists of editor-in-chief Tim Marchman, deputy editor Barry Petchesky, news editor Tom Ley, contributing editor Drew Magary, along with a staff of full-time writers and regular contributors.
Deadspin was one of six websites that was purchased by Univision Communications in their acquisition of Gawker Media in August 2016.