The tender means the Falcons would receive a second-round draft pick if another team offered Snelling a contract that Atlanta declined to match.
Snelling has entrenched himself as a versatile piece of Atlanta's offensive attack since being selected in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Last season, Snelling rushed for 324 yards and caught 44 passes for 303 yards, scoring five total touchdowns.
The tender would pay Snelling a base salary of $1.91 million in 2011.
Under the current collective bargaining agreement, which will expire Thursday night, Snelling is a restricted free agent because he has four years of NFL service. There remains the possibility that Snelling will become an unrestricted free agent if a new agreement is reached that reverts to rules in place before 2010.