Maryland Gov. William Donald Schaefer said yesterday he did not expect St. Louis Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill to decide whether he will move his NFL franchise or where before Friday's league deadline.

"I think he'll run out the string," Schaefer said. "He has a big decision to make."

Although Schaefer said he felt a Maryland delegation led by him had "a good meeting" with Bidwill and Cardinals' attorney Thomas Guilfoil in St. Louis Saturday, the governor did not seem optimistic about Baltimore's chances of getting the team over Phoenix/Tempe, Ariz., or Jacksonville.

In St. Louis, Guilfoil said Bidwill remained uncommitted. But Guilfoil declined to say whether he had been in contact with Maryland Stadium Authority chairman Herb Belgrad since the Saturday meeting. Guilfoil said he would not answer questions concerning contacts with any groups involved in the Cardinals' possible move.

Belgrad, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, said Sunday that he and two members of the Maryland delegation met that day to re-assess its proposal. Although no further meetings were scheduled between the Maryland group and the Cardinals, Belgrad said that, if Bidwill was serious about Baltimore, negotiations could be completed before Friday's NFL deadline.