At the expense of their talent-laden offense, the Chicago Bears appear ready to revamp their middle-of-the-road defense once the new NFL league year begins next month.

According to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport, veteran tight end Martellus Bennett and fourth-year wide receiver Alshon Jeffery may join running back Matt Forte and left tackle Jermon Bushrod on the free agency market as Chicago and head coach John Fox try to rebuild a defense that was ranked 14th overall, fourth against the pass, 22nd versus the run, and 28th in takeaways for 19th in Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) in 2015.

As teams face the NFL’s harsh financial realities, the Bears will have to sacrifice Bennett and perhaps even last year’s leading receiver Jeffery in order to spruce up the defense to Fox and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s liking.

Bennett, who regressed to post 439 yards and three touchdowns off 53 receptions, eventually lost targets to pending free agent Zach Miller and is viewed as a likely casualty due to his $5.08 million base salary next season.

Jeffery’s led the Bears in receiving the last three seasons, including last year despite missing seven games, but given the massive deals many of the league’s top receivers have garnered lately he could prove too expensive for the Bears. The 26-year-old’s scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent next month, and the Bears could use the franchise tag at the estimated cost of $14.4 million next season but that would eat up nearly a quarter of their $59.1 million salary cap space.

With last year’s first-round draft choice and receiver Kevin White likely to return after missing all of last season, Chicago could view Jeffery has expendable and use the cap savings to retain several top defenders already on the roster and to lure budding free agents to the Windy City.

Entering his second season as Bears general manager, Ryan Pace is more likely to divvy up the third-most cap space in the NFL between inside linebacker Shea McClellin, 26, and defensive end Jarvis Jenkins, 27, while figuring out how best to spend Chicago’s 10 draft picks in this spring’s upcoming draft.

McClellin finished second on the team with 81 total tackles last season, and Jenkins was fourth with 4.0 sacks for a squad that ranked No. 22 in the league in sacks and can ill afford to lose a cheaper young pass rusher.

That combo, along with last year’s top defensive rookies Eddie Goldman and Adrian Amos, could prove to be a cornerstone for Fox’s defense as Chicago hopes to snap a five-year postseason drought.

"We'll feel good about (Goldman) moving forward if he can keep getting stronger," Fangio told the Chicago Tribune last month. "Amos played a lot of football obviously. Hopefully he can take the next step next year.

"A lot of these guys will improve over the offseason without even doing anything. They take a deep breath and sit back and see cut-ups and watch it and study. Even before they step foot on the field in an OTA, there will be some improvement just from a mental standpoint. Everything will become clearer and easier for them."